Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell Reuters

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Wednesday issued a statement after the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time.

In his statement, McConnell urged lawmakers to focus on the transfer of power from the Trump administration to the Biden administration.

“Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week. The Senate has held three presidential impeachment trials. They have lasted 83 days, 37 days, and 21 days respectively,” he wrote.

“Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office. This is not a decision I am making; it is a fact. The President-elect himself stated last week that his inauguration on January 20 is the 'quickest' path for any change in the occupant of the presidency,” continued McConnell.

“In light of this reality, I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration,” he added.

“I am grateful to the offices and institutions within the Capitol that are working around the clock, alongside federal and local law enforcement, to prepare for a safe and successful inauguration at the Capitol next Wednesday.”

Earlier, the House approved an article of impeachment against Trump by a majority of 232 to 197, with 10 Republicans voting in favor of the article accusing Trump of “incitement of insurrection” following last week's riots at the Capitol.

Even before the vote, McConnell’s office told Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer’s staff that the GOP will not agree to reconvene the Senate before January 19 to allow an impeachment trial while President Trump is still in office.

The Senate last year voted to acquit Trump after an impeachment trial led by the Democratic-controlled House on charges of trying to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son Hunter.