Impeachment Backlash: McConnell Shaken Up After Intense Phone Call With GOP Senators Blaming Him For Being Flooded With Calls From Trump Supporters & Donors

A couple of weeks ago Senator Mitch McConnell said he wouldn’t whip votes to encourage Republican Senators to defend President Trump as the Democrats try to impeach him again. 

McConnell said the trial vote would be one of conscience for members however, that wasn’t a good idea. 

During a very intense phone call last week Senators complained to McConnell that they are hearing from super-PACs, donors, and their base that they’d better vote to acquitted President Trump or they are going to lose all support. 

Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), John Kennedy (La.), Rick Scott (Fla), and James Risch (Idaho) scolded McConnell for not fighting to stop the impeachment trial. The hammered McConnell with questions wanted to know on what constitutional basis is the trial being allowed and want to know why they aren’t appealing to the Supreme Court to appeal the whole process. 

Senator Kevin Cramer was one a numerous senators who said the phones are ringing off the hook with calls from constituents and donors. One of those donors is aligned with McConnell  – the Senate Leadership Fund – they demanded McConnell better do more to help President Trump. 

On the call McConnell’s staff tried to calm everyone down however, McConnell didn’t help things when he told Senator’s he doesn’t feel it’s his job to help Trump with his defense strategy. He abdicated leadership and told Senators to talk to Trump’s friend, Lindsey Graham “if they have advice to help Trump.” 

Florida Senator Marco Rubio has already said he will not vote to convict Trump and is against the impeachment trial altogether. 

“Well, first of all, I think the trial is stupid,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said in an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” He added, “I think it’s counterproductive. We already have a flaming fire in this country, and [impeachment is] taking a bunch of gasoline and pouring it on top of the fire.”

“The first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I will do it, because I think it’s bad for America,” he vowed. If you want to hold people accountable, there’s other ways to do it, particularly for a president,” he added. 

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) wrote in an op-ed for The Hill that impeachment is “absurd.”

“To argue that any politicians that tells a crowd to ‘fight to take back your country’ is somehow guilty of incitement is absurd,” Paul wrote. 

Paul also mentioned that Republican’s didn’t demand Senator Bernie Sanders be impeached after one of his supporters attacked the Republicans congressional baseball team. 

Senator Paul said that he won’t support a conviction because it is not constitutional: 

The Constitution says two things about impeachment — it is a tool to remove the officeholder, and it must be presided over by the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

Neither one of those things will happen. President Trump is gone, and Justice John Roberts, properly noticing the absence of an officeholder being impeached, is declining to preside.

Politico | The Hill