Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., could become the first big-name Republican to test former President Donald Trump’s remaining political influence.
And it could cost him his position in the Senate leadership.
McConnell hasn’t indicated how he’ll vote during the upcoming Senate impeachment trial, but is reportedly livid at the former president over the Capitol riot – and has indicated publicly that he’s open to convicting Trump.
“The last time the Senate convened, we had just reclaimed the Capitol from violent criminals who tried to stop Congress from doing our duty,” he said this week. “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.”
He might be betting that Trump’s once-feared powers of persuasion are diminished now that he’s out of office.
But the early indications are those powers are as robust as ever – and McConnell could pay the price politically for abandoning the former president.
One unnamed Republican senator warned McConnell of what’s at stake if he votes to convict.