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McConnell won’t call Senate back for Trump impeachment trial

Mitch McConnell

WATCH COVERAGE OF THE HOUSE IMPEACHMENT VOTE.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is rejecting a Democratic attempt to swiftly call the chamber into emergency session for an impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

The Kentucky Republican's decision was described by a spokesman, and it all but assures that those proceedings won’t occur until after Trump leaves office.

McConnell's decision comes as a GOP strategist says McConnell thinks Trump perpetrated impeachable offenses.

McConnell also sees House Democrats’ drive to impeach Trump as a chance to diminish Trump's sway within the GOP.

The House was all but certain to vote Wednesday to impeach Trump for inciting last week's Capitol takeover by a pro-Trump mob.

McConnell issued this statement Wednesday afternoon:

"The House of Representatives has voted to impeach the President. The Senate process will now begin at our first regular meeting following receipt of the article from the House.

“Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week. The Senate has held three presidential impeachment trials. They have lasted 83 days, 37 days, and 21 days respectively.

“Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office. This is not a decision I am making; it is a fact. The President-elect himself stated last week that his inauguration on January 20 is the ‘quickest’ path for any change in the occupant of the presidency.

“In light of this reality, I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration. I am grateful to the offices and institutions within the Capitol that are working around the clock, alongside federal and local law enforcement, to prepare for a safe and successful inauguration at the Capitol next Wednesday.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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