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Some Republicans are hoping Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will again play the role of Grim Reaper — and kill any vote or even debate on whether to oust President Trump, should the House impeach the president.
An impeachment vote from the House likely would result in a trial in the Senate, but there’s no legal requirement for that to happen.
McConnell — who famously vowed in April to be a “Grim Reaper” for the Green New Deal and Medicare for All — has the power to just say no.
As the House moves toward making impeachment official, all eyes will be on the Kentucky senator, who has previously said he wouldn’t stand in the way of a trial in the Senate.
“You’re going to start hearing that argument and much more loudly, because we’re not too far away from the moment when voters start voting,” veteran Republican operative Michael Steele told Politico.
“You’ve got to make the case why it matters and why it rises to the level of removing an elected president of the United States from the White House.”
And former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — who was instrumental in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998 — told Politico in an email: “Up to the Senate. No way to force them to act.”
If McConnell did refuse to call a Senate trial, it would echo his unprecedented move to refuse a vote on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in 2016.
While McConnell has stated his view that Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky does not rise to the level of an impeachable offense, he has previously told NPR that “if the House were to act, the Senate immediately goes into a trial.”
See: Senate ‘has no choice’ but to hold trial if House impeaches Trump, according to McConnell
For his part, Trump has maintained his innocence and ripped those pushing for his impeachment.
“Can you imagine if these Do Nothing Democrat Savages, people like Nadler, Schiff, AOC Plus 3, and many more, had a Republican Party who would have done to Obama what the Do Nothings are doing to me,” he wrote in a Saturday-morning tweetstorm. “Oh well, maybe next time!”
And while there is a broad expectation that Senate Republicans would exonerate Trump if a trial were held, a number have raised questions about his actions.
“There’s obviously lots that’s very troubling there,” said Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).
Opinion: A few small cracks appear in Trump’s solid Republican support
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) tweeted: “If the President asked or Pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme. Critical for the facts to come out.”
This report previously appeared at NYPost.com.
Read on: Here’s what will happen next in the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump