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McConnell To Vote To Acquit Trump

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is planning to acquit former President Donald Trump, a source familiar with his decision tells NPR.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is planning to acquit former President Donald Trump, a source familiar with his decision tells NPR.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will vote to acquit former President Trump, a source familiar with his decision tells NPR's Susan Davis.

The news comes as the Senate began Saturday morning debating whether to call witnesses in the impeachment trial.

Democrats need at least 17 Republicans in order to convict Trump. Although that number was never realistic, Democrats had hoped to peel of some GOP senators to vote to convict Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. McConnell had reportedly told his colleagues to vote their conscience in the trial.

As recently as Jan. 13, when the House impeached Trump, McConnell told his GOP colleagues he "had not made a final decision" about how he would vote in the Senate trial.

The Kentucky Republican harshly criticized Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 riot, noting: "The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Still, he voted twice to say the Senate did not have the authority to try a former president.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.