US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell
US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell

US: McConnell not pressuring Republicans to acquit Trump

ANI | Updated: Feb 11, 2021 17:39 IST

Washington [US], February 11 (ANI): US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is not pressuring fellow Republicans to acquit former President Donald Trump as the impeachment trial appears poised to wrap as soon as this weekend.
Republicans in the upper chamber have discussed their individual views about the trial behind closed doors this week, including at lunch meetings, but McConnell has limited his remarks to procedural steps and the timeline, as reported by The Hill.
"He's never really talked about it to us... Mitch is a very good tactician... but he's also very respectful that every senator got here on their own," said Senator Kevin Cramer (Republican from North Dakota), as quoted by The Hill.
Senator Rob Portman from Ohio, an adviser to McConnell who hasn't made a decision about whether to convict Trump, said he wasn't getting any pressure from leadership.
"I don't think I've gotten any guidance," Portman said. "Colleagues have stood up and expressed their views, but they're not representing leadership. ...[McConnell] has said, I think this is a vote of conscience."

The Senate Republican leader McConnell declined to respond to questions on Wednesday about whether he was open to convicting the former President, who he aligned closely with during Trump's tenure in the White House.
The GOP (another name for the Republican Party -- Grand Old Party) leader has described himself as undecided and told reporters during a recent press conference that he was waiting to hear the arguments at trial. Asked if he was still undecided on Wednesday, a spokesperson pointed to his remarks about wanting to hear the case.
"I want to listen to the arguments. I think that's what we ought to do. That's what I said before it started. That's still my view," McConnell said.
Trump's impeachment trial resumed on Wednesday as the US Senate proceeds to hear arguments for and against convicting him of instigating last month's violent attack on Congress.
House managers, who are the first to take the floor, plan to use previously unseen security footage to show "extreme violence" of the January 6 assault and make clear how close Trump's loyalists came to lawmakers, the Washington Times said.
Trump's lawyers have urged the Senate to dismiss as unconstitutional and "self-evidently wrong" allegations that their client had a role in the attack on the Capitol by his loyalists who sought to prevent the congressional certification of his loss to Joe Biden. (ANI)