Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly pleased about efforts by Democrats to impeach President Trump a second time, saying he believes the move will make it easier for Republicans to purge Trump from the party.
McConnell has said that he believes Trump committed impeachable offenses and has indicated that he wants to see the specific article of impeachment being put forth by House Democrats, the New York Times reported.
House Democrats filed an article of impeachment against Trump on Monday, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” for his rhetoric before and during the deadly riot at the Capitol last week when Trump supporters broke past security and forced their way into the halls of Congress.
The House is scheduled to vote Wednesday on impeachment. Two Republican House members, Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, have already announced they will support impeachment. The White House expects up to a dozen more Republicans to defect as well.
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has reportedly asked fellow Republicans if he should ask Trump to resign in the wake of the violence. McCarthy has indicated that he would support a censure of the president over the riot and has meanwhile decided not to urge his fellow Republicans to vote against impeachment, despite the California congressman’s personal opposition to it.
The violence at the Capitol on January 6 ended with five dead and prompted bipartisan condemnation of Trump’s exhortations to his supporters at the rally in front of the White House earlier in the day.
“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” the president told his supporters at the rally, but he warned, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
On Tuesday, Trump denied responsibility for inciting the violence.
“They’ve analyzed my speech and my words and my final paragraph, my final sentence. And everybody to the tee thought it was totally appropriate,” the president told reporters.