GOP Sen. Defends McConnell’s Alliance With WH On Impeachment: ‘The Senate Is Not Really A Jury’

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) during a meeting with St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko on July 2, 2018. (Photo by Alexander DemianchukTASS via Getty Images)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

On Sunday, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) backed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’s blatant coordination with White House lawyers on the impending impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

“It’s not a criminal trial. The Senate is not really a jury,” Kennedy told CNN’s “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper. “It’s both jury and judge.”

The Republican senator said that McConnell, who bragged about being “on the same side” as the White House even before the trial begins, is “entitled to his opinion and his approach.”

Kennedy also argued that “not all crimes are impeachable offenses.”

“There are no rules here,” he said of the Senate impeachment trial process. “For example, what’s an impeachable offense? I think the precedent that shows that not all impeachable offenses are crimes, but it also shows that not all crimes are impeachable offenses.”

McConnell’s alliance with the White House on impeachment has drawn criticism from Democrats, who accuse the GOP leader of violating the Senate’s constitutional oath to carry out impeachment trials with “impartial justice.”

One Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AL), said she was “disturbed” by McConnell’s anti-impeachment strategy last week.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told reporters that besides Murkowski, ten other GOP senators privately had “very severe misgivings” about McConnell’s actions.

Watch Kennedy below:

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: