- Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said in no uncertain terms that President Donald Trump's recent conduct was grounds for impeachment.
- But Manchin cautioned Congress "to be practical" before going to trial.
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Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said in no uncertain terms that President Donald Trump's recent conduct was grounds for impeachment; however, cautioned Congress "to be practical" before going to trial.
"There is no doubt about it he should be impeached," Manchin said during a CNN interview on Sunday. "But if we can't, you have to be practical about what we are doing now."
Manchin, who has been critical of Trump's rhetoric about contesting the results of the US presidential election, stressed that the timing of an impeachment did not "make any common sense whatsoever," given that the Senate is scheduled to come back from recess and resume regular business on January 19, one day before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration date.
"We are ready to install a new government," Manchin said. "If I was Joe Biden, I'd want to be able to put my government together."
Democrats in the House have threatened to bring forth articles of impeachment against Trump, the second during his presidency, as early as Monday.
In a memo first reported by The Washington Post, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell outlined his plan in case Democrats begin the proceedings before Biden's inauguration date. McConnell wrote that the earliest the Senate would take up the matter would be January 19, given that any decision made before coming back from recess would require a unanimous decision from a Republican-majority Senate - an unlikely scenario.
"I hope people would look at two paths: you got a political path and you got a judicial path," Manchin said. "I think the judicial path could be the one to give us the best results to stop this silliness within politics, this dangerous insidious type of speech that you have."
Manchin, a moderate voice in the Senate, is a key vote for Democrats during a deadlock. Manchin's vote is still essential in the upcoming year, despite Democrats having the majority of members in both chambers of Congress. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaker in the event of a 50-50 split.
An increasing number of Republican and Democratic lawmakers have called for impeaching Trump, following the January 6 riots on Capitol Hill. Prior to the rioters storming Congress, Trump hosted an event near the White House to galvanize supporters to "never concede" in disputing the results of the presidential election.
The subsequent riot claimed the lives of at least five people, including one Capitol Hill police officer.