McConnell Plans For Acquittal Vote To Avoid A Possible Tie Or Close Call

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 5: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks to his office following the weekly Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol on November 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. McConnell (R-KY) said he predicts that  the Senate would acquit President Trump of any articles of impeachment passed by the House. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks to his office following the weekly Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol on November 5, 2019. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is planning to hold an acquittal vote to clear President Donald Trump of all charges rather than a simple-majority dismissal of the impeachment articles to avoid a possible tie or nail-biter conclusion.

According to CNN, the Constitution requires 67 votes to convict Trump and remove him from office. Republicans, with their 53-seat majority, are confident that Democrats would not be able to rustle up enough defections to make that result a real possibility.

And by going for acquittal, McConnell would avoid any possible complications that could arise from a dismissal vote, which only requires 51 votes. Due to the obvious conflict of interest, Vice President Mike Pence would be barred from tie-breaking in that situation. Instead, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts would be called in to preside over the Senate trial, and any tied motions would fail.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) echoed this thinking to CNN, saying that it would make “more sense” to vote for acquittal or conviction than to “decide this on a 51-vote threshold, with the potential tie and all the recriminations that would flow from that.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

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