Mitch McConnell has allegedly been lobbied by “prominent Republicans” and former White House officials to impeach Donald Trump, according to a report by CNN.
According to CNN, “dozens of influential Republicans around Washington” have been pushing McConnell and other Congressional Republicans to convict Trump. This lobbying started after the Capitol Hill riots, according to the report.
McConnell allegedly supports this effort. “Mitch said to me he wants Trump gone,” allegedly a Republican member of Congress told CNN. “It is in his political interest to have him gone. It is in the GOP interest to have him gone. The question is, do we get there?”
In order for the Senate to convict Trump, they would need a 2/3rds majority, so 17 Republicans would need to vote in favor of a conviction. According to CNN, some GOP sources believe in the possibly that a conviction could occur.
“There were 10 House Republicans who voted for impeachment. There were probably over 150 who supported it,” said Charlie Dent, a former Republican congressman.
According to CNN, the current rumor is that Republicans want a Trump conviction because they believe it is critical for the future of the Republican party. They view Trump as a negative to the party.
“Trump created a cult of personality that is hard to dismantle,” said a former senior Republican official to CNN. “Conviction could do that.”
Republican donors, calls from former Trump White House officials, and talking points circulating around lead the behind-the-scenes effort.
A memo circulating makes the claim that “it is difficult to find a more anti-conservative outburst by a U.S. president than Donald Trump the last two months.”
The memo also claims that Trump “urged supporters from across the nation to come to Washington, DC, to disrupt” Congress on January 6 and encouraged the crowd, which it is claimed the crowd was “widely understood to include people who were planning to fight physically, and who were prepared to die in response to his false claims of a stolen election.”
The memo continues, stating that Trump “tweeted and made other statements against the Vice President as the Secret Service was being forced to rush Mike Pence out of the Senate chamber and into a protective bunker.” It is unknown how much this memo has circulated among Republicans.
Republicans are not all turning on Trump. There is a pro-Trump faction within Congress who still back the former president.
“No, no, no,” Sen. Ron Johnson, told CNN when asked if he supports a trial. Johnson also called the potential vote a “dangerous precedent” and added, “I don’t even think we should be having a trial.”
“If you’re wanting to erase Donald Trump from the party, you’re going to get erased,” Said Lindsey Graham on Fox News on Wednesday. “This idea of moving forward without Donald Trump in the Republican Party is a disaster for the Republican Party.”
Some former Republican lawmakers have called for Trump’s removal, including former White House chief of staff John Kelly, who said he would vote to remove Trump, and former Attorney General Bill Barr, who accused Trump of “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress” and called his conduct a “betrayal of his office.”
The consensus among Republicans who spoke to CNN is that whatever way McConnell will lean will likely sway many other Republicans. On Tuesday, McConnell attacked Trump.
“The mob was fed lies,” said McConnell. “They were provoked by the President and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like. But we pressed on.”
Impeachment articles will be sent to the Senate on Monday, with a trial happening shortly after.