McConnell: 'There's no chance' Trump is removed from office

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By Lauren Egan  with NBC News Politics
Image: Mitch McConnell
"It wouldn't surprise me if we got one or two Democrats," McConnell said of any potential Senate vote on charges against President Trump.   -   Copyright  Andrew Harnik AP file

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday that there was "no chance" that President Donald Trump would be removed from office in any impeachment trialand that it "wouldn't surprise" him if some Democrats split from their party and voted in the president's favor.

"The case is so darn weak coming from the House," McConnell said in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News Thursday night, as the House Judiciary Committee continued to debate articles of impeachment. "We know how it's going to end. There's no chance the president's going to be removed from office."

"My hope is that there won't be a single Republican who votes for either of these articles of impeachment, and Sean, it wouldn't surprise me if we got one or two Democrats," McConnell continued.

The House is expected to hold the full impeachment vote next week, just days before Congress plans to head back to their districts for the holiday recess. The Senate trial is expected to begin after the break in January.

While the Democratic-controlled House is likely to vote to impeach the president, it is up to the Senate to conduct a trial and vote to actually remove Trump from office.

The Senate requires a two-thirds majority to convict, or 67 votes. The GOP holds a 53-47 advantage, but that would still require 20 Republicans to break from the president, assuming that every Democrat votes to convict Trump — though, as McConnell suggested, that assumption is not a given.