McConnell says to be "in total coordination" with White House over looming impeachment trial
WASHINGTON, Dec.12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday night that he will be "in total coordination" with the White House in determining the Republican strategy for a looming impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.
"Everything I do during this I'm coordinating with the White House Counsel. There will be no difference between the President's position and our position as to how to handle this," McConnell told Fox News.
McConnell reportedly met with White House Counsel Pat Cipollone privately earlier Thursday.
"There's no chance the President will be removed from office," McConnell noted. "My hope is there won't be a single Republican who votes for these two articles of impeachment."
"We have no choice but to take it up. But we'll be working through this process hopefully in a fairly short period of time, in total coordination with the White House Counsel's office and the people who are representing the President, in the way all of the Senate," he said.
Under the U.S. constitution, the House shall have the sole power of impeachment while the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.
Trump is the fourth U.S. president in history to face impeachment. If impeached, he will be the third U.S. president to have a trial in the Senate.
Trump will be impeached if the Democratic-controlled House approves either of the two articles of impeachment the House Judiciary Committee has recommended by a simple majority vote.
However, conviction can only happen in the Senate and requires at least two-thirds of its members, or 67 senators, to vote in favor after a trial. Currently, the Senate has 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents.