Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told colleagues on Saturday morning that he would vote to acquit Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. “While a close call, I am persuaded that impeachments are a tool primarily of removal and we, therefore, lack jurisdiction,” McConnell, whose wife quit her job in the wake of the Capitol riot, wrote in a letter to GOP colleagues. The letter was sent before five Republican senators joined with Democrats on Saturday to approve a motion to call witnesses—a shock move that will delay the conclusion of the trial.
Impeachment managers need 67 votes to convict Trump—a threshold that might be impossible after McConnell fell in line with 43 other GOP senators who have already said the trial was unconstitutional.
Six Republicans voted that the impeachment trial was constitutional but one of them might be leaning towards an acquittal. The Washington Post snapped a photo of Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) holding a draft statement explaining why he voted to acquit. “The events of January 6 are a stain on our country. President Trump and many others certainly contributed to the environment. The former president did engage in excessive and unnecessary rhetoric before and after the election. However, the House Managers did not connect the dots to show President Trump knew that the attack on the Capitol was going to be violent and result in the loss of life,” it says. Cassidy told reporters he is still undecided.