Two Republican Senators Say McConnell Will Move to Acquit Trump if He is Impeached, Not Just Dismiss Charges

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to hold a final vote to acquit President Donald Trump, should he be impeached, when a majority of senators believe his trial has run its course instead of holding a vote on dismissing the articles of impeachment, two Republican senators told CNN on Wednesday.

Republicans want to have a vote on acquittal — to clear the President of the charges against him — not simply rely on a 51-vote threshold procedural motion to dismiss the hotly disputed case.

The Constitution mandates 67 votes are required to convict the President and remove him from office, a barrier widely considered too high to be reached in this case.

One vote McConnell can’t rely on is that of Vice President Mike Pence, who has “no role in impeachment,” according to a GOP leadership aide, despite being president of the Senate with the mandate to break ties.

Pence’s power, which applies to legislation and nominations, isn’t in effect when the Senate is weighing removing his boss, an obvious conflict of interest since he would replace Trump if he were removed. Instead, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts would preside at the trial and any tie motions would fail.

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SOURCE: CNN, Ted Barrett and Manu Raju