Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell weighed in on the issue of a presidential indictment and impeachment on Friday, an issue on which he has largely declined to comment.
Asked by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt whether he believes a president can be indicted, the Senate Majority Leader indicated that a president should be subject to a political – rather than a judicial – remedy.
“I’m a lawyer, but not a good one. The Justice Department, I gather, has taken the position under a president of both parties that the appropriate remedy for presidential misbehavior is impeachment,” McConnell told Hewitt in a taped MSNBC interview. “I’m not an expert on this, but I hear that’s the case.”
During Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, the Supreme Court nominee invoked the Federalist Papers, including Federalist 69, which says a president may only be impeached.
Kavanaugh avoided answering a question on whether a president is subject to subpoena, and asked his opinion on the matter, McConnell declined to say, as well.
“Yeah, that’ll be up to the courts to decide. I have no idea what, how they would rule,” McConnell said.
McConnell’s comments come amid a renewed interest in the 25th Amendment following an explosive op-ed in the New York Times from an anonymous senior official in the administration.
“Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis,” the op-ed’s author wrote.
It also comes as the President has become increasingly fixated on the idea of impeachment, warning Thursday during a campaign rally in Montana that the country would “turn into a third world country” if he is impeached.
Trump said that if Democrats control Congress, it “doesn’t matter” if he’s done a good job, he will be impeached anyway, encouraging his supporters to vote in the midterm elections.
“If it does happen, it’s your fault, because you didn’t go out to vote. You didn’t go out to vote. You didn’t go out to vote,” he said.