Scoop: McConnell leans toward convicting Trump
There's a better than 50-50 chance that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would vote to convict President Trump in an impeachment trial, sources tell Axios.
What they're saying: "The Senate institutional loyalists are fomenting a counterrevolution" to Trump, said a top Republican close to McConnell.
Why it matters: This would represent one of the most shocking and damning votes in the history of American politics, by the most powerful Republican in Congress.
- McConnell's vote would open the door to the possibility that Trump could be convicted and prohibited from running for president again.
An anti-Trump infection is spreading among Hill Republicans:
- House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming — the third-ranking House GOP leader, and a top establishment voice — announced that she will vote to impeach Trump.
- Cheney said of the Capitol mob: "There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution."
The New York Times reported that McConnell "has told associates that he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him."
- Axios is told McConnell sees this fight as his legacy — defending the Senate and the institution against the verbal attack of the president and the literal attack of his followers.