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McConnell says Senate would acquit Trump if trial held today

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the Senate would acquit President Donald Trump if an impeachment trial were held today.

“I will say I’m pretty sure how it’s likely to end,” McConnell told reporters. “If it were today I don’t think there’s any question — it would not lead to a removal. So the question is how long does the Senate want to take? How long do the presidential candidates want to be here on the floor of the Senate instead of in Iowa and New Hampshire?”

The Kentucky Republican added that he has yet to speak with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on how the Senate would handle impeachment. But he said the two would likely start by looking at the agreement struck between former Senate leaders Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.) during the Clinton impeachment trial.

McConnell wouldn’t comment Tuesday on Trump and Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s calls to identify the whistleblower at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, who expressed concern over Trump’s call pressuring the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rivals.

“I’m not going to comment sort of on a routine daily basis on all that’s breaking surrounding this story over in the House,” the GOP leader said. “At some point it looks to me like they’re going to send it over to the Senate. As you all know that means we have to take it up.”

While some Republican senators have defended Trump, others have declined to comment on the latest developments in the House impeachment inquiry by citing their roles as potential jurors in an impeachment trial.

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