BY JACK PHILLIPS
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) confirmed to reporters that he will back a resolution condemning the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
“Obviously I support it,” he told reporters, referring to the resolution, according to The Hill.
The Washington Post reported that McConnell and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are slated to introduce the resolution later on Thursday.
McConnell confirmed to reporters he will participate in the resolution. “We’re going to have more to say on that later,” he told the Post on Thursday. He added, “We’ll get back to you on the timing.”
McConnell has been critical of the House impeachment inquiry process, saying it lacks transparency amid closed-door testimonies from former and current White House officials.
“Overturning the results of an American election requires the highest level of fairness and due process, as it strikes at the core of our democratic process,” McConnell tweeted earlier in October. “So far, the House has fallen far short by failing to follow the same basic procedures that it has followed for every other President in our history,” he added.
Earlier this week, Graham indicated he would introduce a resolution in the Senate condemning the inquiry, saying that any articles of impeachment should be dismissed without a Senate trial.
“This resolution puts the Senate on record condemning the House. … Here’s the point of the resolution: Any impeachment vote based on this process, to me, is illegitimate, is unconstitutional, and should be dismissed in the Senate without a trial,” Graham told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
Graham stated that Congress has set precedent for how impeachment proceedings should be handled, noting how it was done during the cases of former President Andrew Johnson, former President Richard Nixon, and former President Bill Clinton.
The current format of the inquiry, he argued, is illegitimate because “Republicans are being shut out.”
“If you had an inquiry vote, that allows Republicans and the president to call witnesses and to confront people accusing the president of misdeeds,” Graham said.
He claimed the current impeachment probe sets a dangerous precedent that will forever change the office of the president.
“For the future of the presidency, we cannot allow future presidents and this president to be impeached based on an inquiry in the House that has never been voted upon, that does not allow the president to confront the witnesses against him, call witnesses on his behalf and cross-examine people that are accusing him of misdeeds,” he said, adding that Trump should have the same rights as former Presidents Nixon and Clinton.
A resolution in the Senate would need at least 60 votes to pass, noted The Hill.
Trump and other Republicans have called on House Democrats to formally vote on the impeachment inquiry. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said that it isn’t required under the rules.