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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Tuesday that he will not act as an "impartial juror" in the likely event of a Senate trial, stating: "This is a political process."
Why it matters: Senators must take the following oath before being sworn in for an impeachment trial: "I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be,) that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of [name of person being impeached], now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: so help me God."
- A number of Republican senators have cited the impartiality requirement to ward off questions on impeachment, but McConnell and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have been open about their intentions to acquit Trump as fast as possible.
Between the lines: McConnell has been working in close coordination with the White House over impeachment.
- McConnell is expected to limit a Senate trial to roughly two weeks, in a plan agreed to by Trump, and he is refusing to call new witnesses requested by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
- In a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday, McConnell said it's the House's job to investigate: "If they fail, they fail. It is not the Senate’s job to leap into the breach and search desperately for ways to get to guilty. That would hardly be impartial justice."