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US Senate Majority Leader McConnell blasts House impeachment

Published: Updated:

The top Senate Republican on Thursday denounced the “unfair” House impeachment of US President Donald Trump and reassured Trump and his supporters that “moments like this are why the United States Senate exists.”

Senator Mitch McConnell said in remarks on the Senate floor that the House impeachment “risks deeply damaging the institutions of American government,” saying the Democratic-controlled House “has let its partisan rage at this particular president create a toxic new precedent that will echo well into the future.”

The Kentucky Republican accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of being afraid to send “their shoddy work product to the Senate” after she threw uncertainty into the impeachment process late Wednesday by refusing to say when she would send two impeachment articles to the Senate for a trial.

The House impeached Trump on two charges—abusing his power and obstructing Congress—stemming from his pressure on Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rival as he withheld US aid.

McConnell said the two articles failed to meet the constitutional standard of high crimes and misdemeanors and that the House simply impeached a political foe for an abuse of power offense that isn’t considered a crime.

McConnell described Trump’s impeachment as “the most rushed, least thorough, and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history.”

“The framers built the Senate to provide stability,” McConnell said.

“To keep partisan passions from boiling over. Moments like this are why the United States Senate exists.”

A trial in the Republican-controlled Senate would almost certainly result in Trump being acquitted of the charges.