Draft of McConnell’s Resolution for Impeachment Trial Still Allows Motion to Immediately Dismiss Charges
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is drafting a resolution that will still allow President Trump’s lawyers to immediately dismiss the impeachment charges.
Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) told Axios in a phone interview: “My understanding is that the resolution will give the president’s team the option to either move to judgment or to move to dismiss at a meaningful time…”
To be clear, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) recently said that there aren’t 51 votes to immediately dismiss the charges against Trump.
Behind the scenes: “I am familiar with the resolution as it stood a day or two ago,” Hawley, the junior senator from Missouri, told me in a phone interview on Saturday. “My understanding is that the resolution will give the president’s team the option to either move to judgment or to move to dismiss at a meaningful time…”
- Hawley added that in the most recent draft of the organizing resolution he saw there was an option for the president’s counsel to make a motion in multiple places, including at the beginning of the proceedings.
- A Republican leadership aide responded: “The White House has the right to make motions under the regular order, including a motion to dismiss, right after the resolution is adopted because a motion to dismiss is a motion permitted by the impeachment rules.”
Hawley added that if the final resolution does not allow Trump’s lawyers the option to dismiss or move to judgment at a “meaningful point” in the trial, he would be “very, very surprised,” and might not vote for the organizing resolution.
- Hawley also said he worries that if Trump doesn’t have the option to move to dismiss or move to judgment then Adam Schiff would have too much control over the trial.
According to McConnell, the impeachment trial is expected to begin on Tuesday.
“There is little or no sentiment in the Republican conference for a motion to dismiss,” McConnell told reporters last week. “Our members feel that we have an obligation to listen to the arguments.”
McConnell also stated that each witness would be approved by 51 votes in the Senate, which prompted a warning from Senator Rand Paul to his fellow Republicans not to negotiate with the Democrats on witnesses.
Rand Paul warned last week that the GOP Senate may block Trump’s witnesses from testifying yet allow only witnesses called by Democrats during the impeachment trial.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is preparing a resolution that would leave room for President Trump's lawyers to move immediately to dismiss the impeachment charges if they so choose, according to Republican Sen. Josh Hawley. https://t.co/eQxMsaAyLX
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) January 18, 2020