Washington – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected a Democratic attempt on Wednesday to call an emergency session to impeach President Donald Trump, making it virtually certain that it will not come before that the presidential term ends.
However, according to a Republican strategist, the senator told several people that Trump in his opinion perpetrated crimes that deserve impeachment. McConnell also sees the attempt by Democratic lawmakers to sue Trump as an opportune moment to distance the Republican Party from the outgoing president, said the strategist, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The rift between McConnell and Trump is significant because, being the most powerful Republican in Washington once Democrat Joe Biden takes office next week, this will make it easier for other Republican lawmakers to turn against the outgoing president. The New York Times was the first to report on McConnell’s position on Tuesday,
The Senate is in recess and its next session is scheduled for January 19, the eve of Biden’s inauguration. By law, he can be called to an emergency session if the leaders of both blocs – McConnell and Democrat Chuck Schumer – agree on it.
Schumer has called for an emergency session to impeach Trump before the end of his term, citing the unpredictable problems he could cause.
According to a McConnell spokesman, McConnell aides told Schumer’s office that the Republican did not agree to call an emergency session. The spokesperson did not explain why.
The Democratic-majority House of Representatives was preparing to pass an indictment against Trump of incitement to insurrection, a second impeachment of his troubled presidency. Last Wednesday Trump incited a mob of his followers to march to the Capitol, where they interrupted the formal certification by Congress of Biden’s triumph. The riots left five dead.