/McConnell: Senate would have ‘no choice’ but to take up impeachment

McConnell: Senate would have ‘no choice’ but to take up impeachment

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell | Getty Images

“How long you’re on it is a different matter,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNBC on Monday. | Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that he would “have no choice” but to take up impeachment proceedings if a majority of the House of Representatives approves articles of impeachment.

During an interview with CNBC, McConnell made it clear that under the rules, the Senate cannot ignore a House vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

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“I would have no choice but to take it up,” McConnell said. “How long you’re on it is a whole different matter, but I would have no choice but to take it up, based on a Senate rule on impeachment.”

He further noted that it would take 67 votes to change the current Senate rule for impeachment.

McConnell’s remarks come after Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week endorsed formal impeachment proceedings against Trump. The House impeachment effort gained new momentum after Trump’s call pressuring the Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President and 2020 hopeful Joe Biden and his family came to light.

McConnell also said previously in an interview in March that the Senate would have “no choice” but to hold a trial if the House voted to impeach Trump.

“McConnell is already blaming the House Democrats and the Senate rules for forcing him to arrange for a trial if the President is impeached,” said Michael Gerhardt, a constitutional law professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law. “If his base attacks him, he can shrug his shoulders and say the Democrats (and the rules) forced me to hold a trial. “

Darren Samuelsohn contributed to this report.

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