GOP senator plans to seek dismissal of impeachment articles
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) will try to dismiss the articles of impeachment against President Trump that House Democrats have delayed sending to the Senate.
Hawley, in a pair of tweets, argued that normally “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,” he tweeted.
This will expose Dems’ circus for what it is: a fake impeachment, abuse of the Constitution, based on no evidence. If Dems won’t proceed with trial, bogus articles should be dismissed and @realDonaldTrump fully cleared
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 2, 2020
Officials for the GOP senator didn’t immediately respond to questions about his plan.
The House last month passed two articles of impeachment — one on the president abusing his power in his dealings with Ukraine and another on him obstructing Congress during its investigation of those actions — making Trump the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.
But Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has declined to say when she will transmit the articles to the Senate, an action that would kick off the impeachment trial.
Pelosi said she wants to know the details of the trial proceedings. The move appears to have rankled Trump, who has repeatedly lashed out over the decision.
Hawley’s pledge to try to dismiss the impeachment effort comes after Trump tweeted a quote this week from Fox News arguing for the articles to be dismissed.
But Senate Republicans have also signaled that they want to acquit Trump fully, not merely dismiss the articles. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has also previously shot down the idea of dismissing the articles, saying the Senate will have a trial.
“I don’t think there’s any question that we have to take up the matter. The rules of impeachment are very clear, we’ll have to have a trial. My own view is that we should give people the opportunity to put the case on,” McConnell said in November.
Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.), the No. 4 Republican in the chamber, told reporters shortly before the recess that he did not anticipate a motion to dismiss. Meanwhile, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), an adviser to McConnell, said in November that he did not think Republicans would get the 51 votes to dismiss the articles.
“There’s some people talking about trying to stop the bill, dismiss charges basically as soon as they get over here. I think that’s not going to happen. That would require 51 votes,” he said.