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Photos: Getty Images

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.
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Go deeper

Romney on impeachment: "It's pretty clear that the effort is constitutional."

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said on CNN's "State of the Union" he believes the impeachment trial is constitutional, despite former President Trump no longer being in office.

Driving the news: Some Republicans have objected to hearing the impeachment trial in the Senate, saying it would be unconstitutional to convict a former president.

Sanders says Democrats will push coronavirus relief package through with simple majority

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) leaves the Senate floor on Jan. 1. Photo: Liz Lynch/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), incoming chair of the Senate Budget Committee who caucuses with the Democrats, told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that Democrats plan to push a coronavirus relief package through the chamber with a simple majority vote.

Why it matters: "Budget reconciliation" would allow Democrats to forgo the Senate's 60-vote requirement and could potentially speed-up the next relief package for millions of unemployed Americans. Democrats hold the the 50-50 split in the Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote.

16 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.