Last week, there was a riot on the Hill. Pro-Trump supporters who attended the Save America rally stormed the US Capitol. Five people died. This has led to a renewed impeachment push from congressional Democrats that will get Republican support this time. Will it be enough to convict? We shall see. In the House, the votes are there. In the Senate, the two-thirds majority must be met for a conviction. Even with all Democrats voting in the affirmative, plus Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a conviction is short by 13 votes. Well, Senate Democrats might have just nabbed a big endorsement regarding the impeachment of Donald Trump: soon-to-be-ex-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He’s reportedly pleased with the Democrats’ push and believes Trump is guilty of impeachable offenses. The Kentucky Republican believes this will be the best way to purge Trump from the Republican Party (via NYT):
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, has told associates that he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party, according to people familiar with his thinking. The House is voting on Wednesday to formally charge Mr. Trump with inciting violence against the country.
At the same time, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader and one of Mr. Trump’s most steadfast allies in Congress, has asked other Republicans whether he should call on Mr. Trump to resign in the aftermath of the riot at the Capitol last week, according to three Republican officials briefed on the conversations.
While Mr. McCarthy has said he is personally opposed to impeachment, he and other party leaders have decided not to formally lobby Republicans to vote “no,” and an aide to Mr. McCarthy said he was open to a measure censuring Mr. Trump for his conduct. In private, Mr. McCarthy reached out to a leading House Democrat to see if the chamber would be willing to pursue a censure vote, though Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ruled it out.
Taken together, the stances of Congress’s two top Republicans — neither of whom has said publicly that Mr. Trump should resign or be impeached — reflected the politically fraught and fast-moving nature of the crisis that the party faces in the wake of last week’s assault by a pro-Trump mob during a session to formalize President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s electoral victory.
From colleague Mike Emanuel. Fox is told McConnell is furious and "done" with Trump. He hopes that impeachment could help remove Trump from the GOP. McConnell believes Trump lost the GOP its Senate majority.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 12, 2021
Yeah, I think you all know that Trump is about to torch Mitch, but McConnell also has no worries until 2026. He beat Democrat Amy McGrath like a drum in his 2020 re-election bid. Is this a smart move? It’s loaded with risk. Frankly, Trumpism is here to stay. It’s his party and this move by the DC leadership only reflects the gulf that has emerged between the GOP and its base. The same thing is occurring over on the Democratic side as well, as the old guard, there is being replaced by a more radical and left-wing contingent. I can see why Mitch is doing this. You will never win in defending what happened because there is no defense here. It’s all bad. And having this being attached to the GOP could be an election killer. He’s trying to move past this for the 2022 midterms. I get that—but the party has changed. The Trump base is in their millions, all of whom are vocal and active. These are folks who have never voted before in their lives. They’re jacked up. They’re angry. And they will let you know it. The heat will bear down on Mitch, but he doesn’t cower easily. We’ll see how long memories last, but this is the sort of move that would open up a Republican to a primary challenge come re-election time. I also think that if the move is to try and move on from Trump, it’ll fail. Too many times we have Republicans, including Mitch, supporting or working to enact the Trump agenda. The GOP is Trump. This is where we are now for better or worse. He’s part of the populist moment and it’s here to stay, so while I think Mitch will be fine because he just won a new six-year term—he should prepare for a lot of abuse in the immediate future.
Also, if there was movement towards getting a bill with $2,000 COVID relief checks done up on the Hill, it might have helped the GOP in the Georgia runoffs. Instead, Mitch blocked it.