Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said if the House of Representatives votes to impeach President Donald Trump he would have “no choice” but to continue with proceedings in the Senate.
The Republican Kentucky senator, who was around for the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton, told CNBC on Monday, “Well, under the Senate rules we are required to take it up, if the House goes down that path and we will follow the Senate rules.”
McConnell was asked if he could simply bypass a Senate trial by declaring that there is no Constitutional demand to complete the impeachment process even if the House votes to impeach.
“It is a Senate rule related to impeachment that would take 67 votes to change. I would have no choice but to take it up. How long you’re on it is a whole different matter, but I would have no choice but to take it up, based on a Senate rule on impeachment,” McConnell told CNBC.
Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott defended McConnell, saying that he had a firm grasp of Senate rules. (RELATED: Mitch McConnell Pleads ‘Guilty’ To ‘Stopping The Liberal Agenda’)
House Democrats are moving quickly with impeachment proceedings, even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has only authorized a formal “inquiry” thus far and the legislative body has not even voted on the advisability of impeaching the president.
The Clinton impeachment ultimately failed for lack of votes in the upper chamber. (RELATED: What Is The Process For Impeaching A President?)