McConnell on Impeachment: The “Transparently Partisan” House Process Is Over; “The Senate’s Time Is At Hand”
‘This body, this chamber, exists precisely so that we can look past daily dramas and understand how our actions will reverberate for generations… The House’s hour is over. The Senate’s time is at hand. It is time for this proud body to honor our founding purpose.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding impeachment:
‘It took four weeks. But the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives is finally ready to defend their impeachment of the President of the United States.
‘After weeks of delay, the Speaker of the House decided yesterday that a trial could finally go forward. She signed the impeachment papers.
‘That took place, at a table with a political slogan stuck onto it.
‘And they posed afterwards for smiling photos.
‘And the Speaker distributed souvenir pens to her own colleagues, emblazoned with her own golden signature, that literally came in on silver platters. Golden pens on silver platters. A souvenir to celebrate the moment.
‘Now I seem to remember Democrats falling over themselves to say they did not see impeachment as a long-sought political win. House Democrats said over and over that they recognized the gravity and seriousness of this action and had only come to it reluctantly.
‘Well, nothing says seriousness and sobriety like handing out souvenirs. As though this were a happy bill-signing instead of the gravest process in our Constitution.
‘This final display neatly distilled the House’s entire partisan process into one perfect visual.
‘It was a transparently partisan performance from beginning to end. That’s why they sped through a slapdash inquiry in 12 weeks when previous presidential impeachments came after months if not years of investigation and hearings.
‘That’s why the House cut short their own inquiry, declined to pursue their own subpoenas, and denied the president due process -- but now want the Senate to re-do their homework and re-run the investigation.
‘That’s why our colleague the Democratic Leader told the press that whatever happens next, as long as he can weaponize the trial to hurt Republicans in the 2020 election, quote, “it’s a win-win.”
‘And that’s why the Speaker of the House apparently saw nothing strange about celebrating the third presidential impeachment in American history with souvenirs and posed photographs.
‘That about sums it up. That’s what this process has been thus far.
‘But it is not what this process will be going forward.
‘The Founding Fathers who crafted and ratified our Constitution knew that our nation might sometimes fall prey to the kind of dangerous factionalism and partisanship that has consumed the House of Representatives.
‘The framers set up the Senate specifically to act as a check against the short-termism and the runaway passions to which the House of Representatives might fall victim.
‘Alexander Hamilton worried that, quote, “the demon of faction” would “extend his scepter” over House majorities “at certain seasons.”
‘And he feared for the viability of the government established by the Constitution if, blinded by factionalism, the House of Representatives would abuse the power of impeachment to serve nakedly partisan goals rather than the long-term interests of the American people and their Republic.
‘But fortunately, they did something about it: They did not give both the power to impeach and the power to remove to the House. They divided the power and placed the final decision on removal in the Senate.
‘This body, this chamber, exists precisely so that we can look past daily dramas and understand how our actions will reverberate for generations.
‘So that we can put aside animal reflexes and animosities, and coolly consider how to best serve our country in the long run.
‘So that we could break factional fevers before they jeopardize the core institutions of our government.
‘As Hamilton put it, only the Senate, with “confidence enough in its own situation,” can “preserve, unawed and uninfluenced, the necessary impartiality between an individual accused, and the representatives of the people, his accusers.”
‘The House’s hour is over. The Senate’s time is at hand. It is time for this proud body to honor our founding purpose.’
Related Issues: Senate Democrats