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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivers remarks during a weekly Senate Luncheon press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 24, 2019. Photo by Tom Brenner/Reuters

McConnell has said if House impeaches Trump, Senate must have trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said months ago that if the House goes ahead and impeaches President Donald Trump, the Senate “has no choice” but to conduct a trial to determine whether the president is removed from office.

The Kentucky Republican told NPR that “if the House were to act, the Senate immediately goes into a trial.” McConnell made the comments long before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House would begin an impeachment inquiry into the president.

McConnell had not previously indicated whether the Senate would act on any articles of impeachment, though the Constitution anticipates that it would. It’s commonly assumed that the GOP-held chamber would acquit Trump just as Democrats held together in 1999 to deny the GOP House from winning a conviction of President Bill Clinton.

McConnell is among the few senators remaining in the chamber who participated in the 1999 Clinton impeachment trial.

The Associated Press has corrected this item to show that McConnell spoke to NPR months ago, not Friday.

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