Mitch McConnell Drafts ‘Kill Switch’ Resolution To Halt Trump Trial If Democrats Try To Drag Out
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly preparing a “kill switch” to quickly dismiss the articles of impeachment if Democrats appear ready to drag out the trial of President Trump.
In a resolution McConnell has readied, the Senate — controlled by Republicans — could make the move after some evidence has been offered and without calling any witnesses.
Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley told Axios: “I am familiar with the resolution as it stood a day or two ago. 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.”
He added that he would be “very, very surprised” if the final resolution did not include the option to dismiss the articles quickly.
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 rule.
But even McConnell has said that Republicans might not move swiftly to dismiss the articles. “There is little or no sentiment in the Republican conference for a motion to dismiss,” McConnell told reporters on Jan. 14. “Our members feel that we have an obligation to listen to the arguments.”
Still, Hawley wrote on Twitter: “Trump deserves the right during Senate trial to ask for a verdict or move to dismiss – otherwise trial will become endless circus run by Adam Schiff.”
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 19, 2020
Trump’s defense team said Sunday that the charges about his conduct towards Ukraine are “nonsense.”
“Criminal-like conduct is required,” said Alan Dershowitz, a constitutional lawyer on Trump’s defense team. Dershowitz said he’ll make the same argument to the Senate and if it prevails, there will be “no need” to call witnesses.
Trump has supported a quick dismissal.
“Many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial based on the no evidence, no crime, read the transcripts, “no pressure” Impeachment Hoax, rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have. I agree!” he wrote on Twitter.
Many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial based on the no evidence, no crime, read the transcripts, “no pressure” Impeachment Hoax, rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have. I agree!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020