A host of Republican senators plan their measures in the event that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) continues to withhold the articles of impeachment against President Trump from the Senate.
Last month, Pelosi decided not to submit the articles, which accused President Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his dealings with Ukraine, to the Senate. Her action was reported to try and pressure the Senate to agree to certain terms for a trial.
Sen. Hawley introduced a measure to dismiss impeachment
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.,) joined with a number of fellow Republicans Monday to introduce a resolution allowing the chamber to dismiss articles of impeachment.
“In the real world, when a prosecutor brings a case but refuses to try it, the court has the ability and the defendant has the right – the constitutional right, I might add — to have those articles, those indictments, those charges dismissed,” Hawley who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said. “That is precisely the action that I am proposing today.”
Hawley joined with co-sponsors Sens. Rick Scott of Florida; Mike Braun of Indiana; Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; Ted Cruz of Texas; Steve Daines of Montana; John Barrasso of Wyoming; Tom Cotton of Arkansas; Joni Ernst of Iowa; David Perdue of Georgia; and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma.
“Nancy Pelosi is attempting to obstruct a Senate trial. That’s all there is to it,” Hawley told “Fox & Friends” earlier. He continued that the Senate rules need to be changed.
“The Constitution says that the Senate is the one that will have the trial. It says the trial will follow the impeachment,” Hawley noted. “Now she’s trying to prevent us in a trial. She’s trying to obstruct it, she’s trying to upend the Constitution.”
“So here’s what I think needs to happen. We need to change the Senate rules to allow the Senate to dismiss this case if she refuses to send the articles over,” he added.
“And, in this instance, the Senate is the court and it’s time for us to take action to say, ‘If you are not going to prosecute your case, we’re throwing it out,’” Hawley continued.
He added, “The Senate is ready to proceed. I think every Republican is ready to proceed to a trial right now.”
Dems said impeachment was URGENT. Now they don’t want to have a trial, because they have no evidence. In real world, if prosecution doesn’t proceed with case, it gets dismissed. So on Monday, I will introduce measure to dismiss this bogus impeachment for lack of prosecution
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 2, 2020
Lindsey Graham to seek to change the impeachment rules
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.), said on Jan. 6 that he will seek to change the impeachment rules so the Senate can proceed to a trial without articles of impeachment.
Talking with Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Graham said, “If we don’t get the articles this week, then we need to take matters in our own hands and change the rules.”
“Deem them to be delivered to the Senate,” he continued, adding, “My goal is to start this trial in the next coming days, not let Nancy Pelosi take over the Senate.”
President Trump also tweeted a quote on Jan. 1 from Fox News arguing for the articles to be dismissed.
…on 51 votes, which is procedural. You don’t need two thirds.” Brad Blakeman @FoxNews A great lawyer & person. Thank you Brad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019
Mitch McConnell: ‘Continue the ordinary business of the Senate’
In the meantime, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted on Jan. 6 that senators would “continue the ordinary business of the Senate” as they await the transmission of the articles of impeachment.
We can’t hold a trial without the articles. The Senate’s own rules don’t provide for that. So, for now, we are content to continue the ordinary business of the Senate while House Democrats continue to flounder. For now.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMccannell) January 6, 2020
McConnell on Jan, 03 rejected Pelosi’s efforts to shape a pending impeachment trial, calling it a “fantasy.”
“Their turn is over. They’ve done enough damage. It’s the Senate’s turn now to render sober judgment,” he said while stressing that the Senate cannot hold a trial unless and until Pelosi transmits the two articles.
Meanwhile, a poll released on Jan. 3, showed that a majority of Americans believe Nancy Pelosi should send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
A Harvard CAPS/Harris survey indicated that 58 percent of Americans said that Pelosi should transmit the articles for a Senate trial, compared to 42 percent that said she should hold up the articles in the House.
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