Could McConnell Actually be Considering Convicting Trump in the Senate?
I wouldn’t be surprised if he wants to be rid of the now former President once and for all.
With Joe Biden officially sworn in as President of the United States, I and I’m sure many others have been wondering what will happen to the Republican party in the wake of the Trump Presidency. After the being impeached for a second time following the Pro-Trump riots that took place on January 6th, Donald Trump’s fate lies with the Senate, where now Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be charged with determining how his fellow Republicans vote. A man who all but certainly believes Donald Trump is the reason Republicans lost the Senate and put the lives of lawmakers in jeopardy. While I would not be at all surprised if even still, after everything that took place, McConnell refused to convict Donald Trump. But part of me can’t help wondering if he’s at the very least considering the possibility.
In Washington D.C. and of course with Mitch McConnell, everything comes down to money, and Donald Trump and his most ardent defenders in congress have certainly cost the Republican party quite a bit of it recently. CNN reported that businesses like AirBnB, AT&T, Amazon, BlueCross BlueShield, Dow Chemical and American Express among many others have cut off the funding for 147 Republicans who voted against the certification of the election results following the riots at the Capitol. Naturally, once the monster he spent four years emboldening and enabling turns against him and the pocket books of the Republican party, Mitch McConnell appears to have finally deemed it acceptable to unequivocally condemn the President and his role in the incitement of the riots.
Nicholas Fandos with The New York Times writes:
Senator Mitch McConnell flatly blamed President Trump on Tuesday for the violent rampage at the Capitol on Jan. 6, saying that the mob that stormed the building had been “fed lies” and “provoked by the president” to carry out its assault.
…Mr. McConnell, who is said to privately believe that Mr. Trump committed impeachable offenses, gave no indication of whether he would vote to convict Mr. Trump at his impeachment trial on a single charge of “incitement of insurrection.”
While I still would be incredibly surprised if McConnell did ultimately give enough Republicans the go-ahead to convict the President of the United States, if he did it would not be because of concerns for the safety and well-being of his fellow lawmakers on that day, or what it could mean for the future of our already-fragile democracy. It would have nothing to do with morals, principles, or the constitution. If McConnell is genuinely considering conviction, it is merely because he has finally made the calculation that for the future of the Republican party and his own personal power, Donald Trump is now more of a liability than an asset. They used him to get their tax cuts, the 2020 election didn’t work out as they’d hoped and now, of course, they’re done with him.
All that said, leave it to Donald Trump to throw something else into the mix on his way out of the White House, with reports that he has had discussions about starting a new third party following criticism from other top Republicans. After this new effort to flex his continued influence over the right wing base across the country, it will be interesting to see if this news holds any weight with McConnell and other Republican Senators. Would this dissuade the Senate Minority Leader from finding enough Republicans to convict, or would it intensify his efforts to do so and be rid of the President and his hold on the party once and for all?
Still, as powerful as Donald Trump undeniably is within the Republican party and among the base in particular, as I’ve said before money still plays the most significant factor with the donor class and the lawmakers they pay to do their bidding. Frankly, I think Donald Trump’s fate ultimately boils down to the types of phone calls top Republican donors will be making over the coming days and weeks, and which way they’ll be pressuring these Senators to go.