Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri introduced a resolution on Monday to dismiss articles of impeachment against President Trump for lack of prosecution as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to delay sending the articles for trial.
“Speaker Pelosi started this bogus impeachment by claiming President Trump was an urgent ‘threat to democracy’ who had to be removed now. But after a bipartisan vote against the articles in the House, and with the public opposed to the Democrats’ partisan games, Pelosi has changed her tune,” Hawley said in a speech on the Senate floor. “The Constitution gives the Senate sole power to adjudicate articles of impeachment, not the House. If Speaker Pelosi is afraid to try her case, the articles should be dismissed for failure to prosecute and Congress should get back to doing the people’s business.”
Hawley’s resolution would amend the Senate’s impeachment rules by giving the House 25 calendar days to send articles of impeachment over to the Senate. If the time period has elapsed and the House continues to withholds the articles, any Senate member could offer a motion to dismiss the articles of impeachment for lack of prosecution or “with prejudice for failure by the House of Representatives to prosecute such articles.” That motion would then be voted upon by the full Senate.
“We now have the longest delay in American history in providing notice to this body,” Hawley said. “Let’s be clear this has never been done before. It is time to update the senate’s rule to account for this unprecedented attempt at obstruction at denial and delay. It is time for the Senate to act.”
Ten Republican senators signed on co-sponsored the measure. Those 10 Senators are 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.
“Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have made a mockery of our Constitution and abused impeachment for political gain. Now, they’re undermining the role of the Senate by attempting to dictate the terms of the Senate’s trial,” Cruz said in the joint statement. “Under our Constitution, the Senate has the sole authority to try impeachment. It is the Senate’s duty to take up these articles without delay, and to resolve them in a timely and constitutionally appropriate manner.”
“Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are making a mockery of our government. Democrats have wanted to impeach Donald Trump since he came down that escalator four years ago. They just hate Trump,” Scott said in the statement. “If Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to send the articles to the Senate, we should dismiss the articles of impeachment and get back to work on all the things that aren’t getting done, like securing the border, passing No Budget, No Pay and lowering the cost of prescription drugs.”
Senate Republicans have weighed in on changing the Senate rules to allow them to dismiss the impeachment charges against Trump due to Pelosi delaying sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate. At this time, Pelosi has held onto the articles for 19 day, setting the record of delaying the transmission as a stall effort to pressure the Senate GOP to agree to a list of witnesses for an impeachment trial.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are seeking documents and testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and two other officials
“I believe a fair trial is one that considers all the relevant facts that allow for relevant witnesses and documents,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor. “That is a feature of every single impeachment trial of a president in the history of our nation.”
One of those highly sought-after witnesses is Bolton, who said in a statement Monday that he is now willing to testify in the Senate impeachment trial if subpoenaed.
“I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify.”
In a floor speech on Monday, McConnell called on the Senate to follow the rules agreed on during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999.
“House Democrats’ hunger to break our Senate precedents, just like they broke their own House precedents, could not be more telling,” McConnell said on Monday. “The Senate has an unanimous, bipartisan precedent for when to handle mid-trial questions such as witnesses in the middle of the trial and that’s the way it should be done this time. That was good enough for President Clinton, so it ought to be good enough for President Trump. Fair is fair.”
Democrats expect the House Speaker will eventually send over the articles to the Senate sometime this week.