Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday did not rule out voting to convict President Donald Trump as he was being impeached by the House of Representatives.
"While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate," McConnell said in a note to Republican colleagues.
Multiple press reports Tuesday said that McConnell, a steadfast ally of Trump for four years, was supportive of Democrats' decision to impeach him, believing he warranted the punishment after encouraging a mob to attack the US Capitol on January 6 as Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden's win.
But McConnell's office on Wednesday confirmed that he would not reconvene the Senate until January 19, the eve of Biden's inauguration, meaning Trump is virtually certain to serve out his term.
However, a conviction in the Senate could lead to a decision to bar Trump from running again in 2024, a relief to those Republicans who have feared incurring his wrath.
McConnell faithfully carried out Trump's agenda and helped ensure his acquittal after his first impeachment by the House in December 2019.
But the Senate leader broke with him on his attempts to overturn the election results, arguing passionately that the move would mark a "death spiral" for US democracy.
McConnell is set to lose his control of the Senate to the Democrats who won two runoff elections in Georgia last week.