GOP’s top leaders navigate impeachment in their own ways

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of them is a gregarious, backslapping Californian unwavering in his defense of President Donald Trump. The other is a calibrated Kentuckian who chooses his words about Trump with care and doesn’t stroke the president’s ego.

But it’s more than style and temperament that separate House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as they navigate the treacherous shoals of Trump’s possible impeachment.

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McCarthy leads a politically weakened but rambunctious caucus dominated by conservatives.

McConnell is Trump’s most powerful ally in Congress, but also the leader of an institution that will have its reputation on the line in the likely event of an impeachment trial. His greatest political concern is for incumbents for whom impeachment could pose a grave electoral danger, and he’s up for re-election himself.

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