Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, McConnell said that closed-door hearings House Democrats have been holding have not yet yielded enough evidence to convince Senate Republicans to vote to convict and remove Trump from office:
“I will say, I’m pretty sure how it’s likely to end. If it were today, I don’t think there’s any question it would not lead to a removal.”
Watch his comments below:
Sen. Mitch McConnell: "If it were today, I don't think there's any question it would not lead to a removal. So the question is just 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 IA and NH?" pic.twitter.com/j6GbgRCtsE— The Hill (@thehill) November 6, 2019
McConnell said he wasn’t going to comment on the leaks that have come from the closed-door hearings, adding that he believes House Democrats are not giving Trump “basic due process rights that were provided to both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.”
Speaking about the timeline of the Senate trial to take, McConnell said it could be wrapped up quickly or drag on for a while, “So the question is just 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?”
Some Democrats have signaled concern that the impeachment process could hurt Democrats’ election prospects in 2020.
The impeachment process could also spell trouble for Democratic senators running in their party’s primary if the process drags on. Senate rules require Senators to be present for the trial, so the presidential hopefuls would be spending time away from the campaign trail in the crucial days leading up to the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.
Recent polls have found that support for the impeachment and removal of Trump is split with a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finding 49% support it and 46% oppose it.
While the House Republicans have largely stood behind the president, declaring that they would publicly state he did nothing wrong, Senate Republicans appear to be growing nervous about the evidence that has trickled out of the closed-door proceedings.
However, while some Republicans in the Senate have said that Trump’s actions are concerning, they have said his actions are not impeachable.