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McConnell remains undecided on convicting Trump in Senate trial

McConnell remains undecided on convicting Trump in Senate trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told his GOP colleagues in a note this afternoon he remains undecided on whether he’ll vote on convicti

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told his GOP colleagues in a note this afternoon he remains undecided on whether he’ll vote on conviction of the president.

“While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate,” McConnell said.

Simply being open to voting to convict is significant for McConnell, who denounced Trump’s first impeachment as a political exercise with “zero chance” of removing the president.

As of Wednesday, several House Republicans have come out in support of impeaching the president as the House voted on a single article of impeachment, charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” in the wake of a pro-Trump mob violently storming the U.S. Capitol building last week. This will make him the first president to ever face this punishment twice.

On Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the No. 3 figure in the House GOP leadership, announced she would vote to impeach Trump.

“There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” Cheney said in a statement.

Cheney’s comments followed a New York Times report that McConnell believes Trump committed impeachable offenses and that the impeachment effort “will make it easier” to purge Trump from the GOP.

McConnell said last week that the earliest the Senate could take up the articles would be Jan. 19, unless all 100 senators agree to come back early.

Trump has been monitoring the impeachment proceedings largely from the Oval Office, an administration official told NBC News on Wednesday. There has been outreach between the White House and Republican leadership but the official did not give specific details.

“As much as we can, we are focusing on the transition, highlighting the success of the last four years, and continuing the work of government until the next administration takes over,” the official told NBC News.

The official said they have “minor concerns,” about the Senate convicting the president given news reports that McConnell is privately supportive, and expressed that scenario is unlikely.

This official acknowledges this impeachment, because of the riots at the Capitol, “is a lot more personal to some of these members than a phone call to Ukraine’s president.”

Kristen Welker and Peter Alexander contributed.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Nbcnews.com

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