Imagine a member of a criminal jury, who has a friendly relationship with an accused criminal, already deciding whether their friend is innocent or guilty, even before the trial is set to happen.
Beyond that, this person is not only biased in their opinion, but also admits that they’re regularly talking with the accused, making efforts with them to ensure they get a verdict of “not guilty.”
That’s essentially what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is doing with President Donald Trump, as it pertains to the president’s impending impeachment.
Articles of impeachment against the president haven’t yet been sent to the Senate from the House of Representatives — the House Judiciary Committee is planning a formal vote on Friday that would send a measure to the full House to vote on, presumably next week or perhaps over the weekend — but McConnell has already made public statements about how he intends to run the trial in the legislative body he runs.
“Everything I do during this I’m coordinating with White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this,” McConnell said on Fox News’ Hannity Thursday night, per reporting from Common Dreams.
McConnell seemed to state that he didn’t want to discuss the issue of impeachment at all, but recognized constitutionally he had to.
Mitch McConnell: Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with White House Counsel. There will be no difference between the President’s position and our position as to how to handle this pic.twitter.com/baFaTKWvUl
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) December 13, 2019
“We have no choice but to take it up” once the House sends the articles of impeachment to the Senate, McConnell explained to viewers. “But we’ll be working through this process hopefully in a fairly short period of time in total coordination with the White House counsel’s office and the people who are representing the president.”
McConnell left no doubt in viewers’ minds how he planned to make things work out in the president’s favor.
“We know how it’s going to end. There’s no chance the president’s going to be removed from office,” he said, according to a report from NBC News.
It may seem odd, or even unethical and unjust, but what McConnell is doing is perfectly legal. The Constitution sets no bounds for how senators must act during the impeachment of a president, nor during the indictment trial they must be a part of.
A successful removal of a president requires a simple majority of the House of Representatives to vote for impeachment, and two-thirds of the Senate voting to indict the commander-in-chief based on the charges laid out by the HOuse.