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Senate Republicans Back Trump in Impeachment Row

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to the media on Capitol Hill, February 12, 2019. (Mary F. Calvert/Reuters)

Senate Republicans continue to stand by President Trump in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement of a formal impeachment inquiry on Tuesday.

“If you want to impeach him, stop talking,” said Senator John Kennedy (R., La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over the impeachment process. “Do it. Do it. Go to Amazon, buy a spine and do it.”

Kennedy predicted that the public would look upon the impeachment inquiry as “more harassment.”

Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky) concurred, saying “I think the Democrats have made this such a partisan exercise that I think most of the public has discounted the idea of it.”

While certain prominent Senate Republicans have questioned the political utility of pursuing impeachment, they have not moved to block Democrats’ oversight efforts. Senate Republicans joined Democrats in unanimously approving a resolution demanding that the Trump administration release the whistleblower complaint at the center of the impeachment inquiry.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would be required to initiate impeachment proceedings in the Senate if the House passes articles of impeachment, but 67 votes are required to secure a conviction in the upper chamber.

The prospective difficulties in furthering the impeachment process through the Senate have led Republicans to warn that Democratic impeachment efforts will backfire.

“I know they’re under a lot of pressure to do it, but if you’re the leadership over there, you got to think long and hard about what the implications are if it looks like you’re overreaching,” said Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R., S.D.).

Meanwhile, the Trump reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee began a fund-raising initiative Tuesday based on the threat of Trump’s impeachment.

Party officials said that over the course of the day they raised over $1 million with the initiative.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is also a violist, and has served in the Israeli Defense Forces.

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