Bad Idea: Top Republicans, Ex-White House Officials Pressing McConnell to Convict Trump

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Posted: Jan 23, 2021 12:45 AM
Bad Idea: Top Republicans, Ex-White House Officials Pressing McConnell to Convict Trump

Source: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Love him or hate him—Mitch McConnell is a politician who seldom makes mistakes. He’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s a man who is a skilled political strategist whose errors are few in years past. Tea Party folks were sour on him, but the man was instrumental in enacting key portions of the Trump agenda, especially concerning the judiciary. Cocaine Mitch was a slayer in the upper chamber, but all that changed after the 2020 election. 

On January 6, there was a riot on Capitol Hill. Five people died. The Capitol Building was stormed. New impeachment articles were filed against President Trump as well. Trump addressed the Save America rally on the same day as the riot. He’s being accused of inciting a riot and insurrection on this day; the day Congress certifies the 2020 election results. 

This appears to be the straw the broke the camel’s back. McConnell blames Trump for losing the GOP majority in the Senate. There’s no love lost between the two men. He is even supportive of the Democrats’ impeachment push, seeing it as not being grounded in politics as with the first attempt regarding Ukraine. He also reportedly sees this as an avenue to purge Trumpism from the GOP. The Daily Caller reported that key Republicans and former White House officials are conducting a whisper campaign to urge the Kentucky Republican to convict Trump (via Daily Caller):

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly been lobbied by prominent Republicans and former White House officials to support impeaching former President Donald Trump, according to CNN.

“Mitch said to me he wants Trump gone,” a Republican member of Congress reportedly told CNN. “It is in his political interest to have him gone. It is in the GOP interest to have him gone. The question is, do we get there?” The CNN report said the lobbying for impeachment started in the House after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and began to focus on McConnell after the House’s impeachment vote.

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McConnell, who has not ruled out voting to convict Trump in a Senate vote, said Trump was directly responsible for provoking the rioters and went on to mention President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris’ inauguration.

He’s being coy. If he wants Trump gone, that means convicting him and allowing for a separate bill to bar him from running again. Yet, here’s the first hurdle—the two-thirds majority for a conviction. Right now, 12 votes are shy of that benchmark, but if McConnell is a “yea” vote—who knows what will happen. 

It’s just a bad move. Sorry, Mitch—but taking on a huge slice of the GOP base is not a smart move ahead of the 2022 midterms. Around 40 percent of Republican voters are die-hard Trump supporters. These people will stay home or walk away if you follow through with this, meaning your position as leader could be in jeopardy and there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of the Republican Party having a good midterm cycle. The era of the inside the beltway elitist is over in the GOP. The party is Trump. Get used to it or get out of the way.