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GOP senators introduce resolution to change rules, dismiss impeachment without articles

Roughly a dozen GOP senators want to change the Senate’s rules and allow for lawmakers to dismiss articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE before the House sends them over.

Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyMurkowski predicts Barrett won't overturn Roe v. Wade Infrastructure, energy investments urgently needed to create U.S. jobs Justice Department charges Google with illegally maintaining search monopoly MORE (R-Mo.) introduced the resolution on Monday, arguing the Senate's impeachment rules do not envision a scenario where the House would delay transmitting articles against a president, as Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Businesses, wealthy brace for Biden tax hikes | Dow falls more than 650 points as COVID-19 cases rise, stimulus hopes fade | Kudlow doesn't expect Trump to release detailed economic plan before election Overnight Health Care: US sets a new record for average daily coronavirus cases | Meadows on pandemic response: 'We're not going to control it' | Pelosi blasts Trump for not agreeing to testing strategy Gaffes put spotlight on Meadows at tough time for Trump MORE (D-Calif.) has done. 

"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 said in a statement.
 
The resolution would give the House 25 days to send articles of impeachment over to the Senate. After that, a senator could offer a motion to dismiss "with prejudice for failure by the House of Representatives to prosecute such articles" with a simple majority vote, according to Hawley's proposal.
 
The resolution comes as some Senate Republicans have mulled changing the chamber's rules to allow them to dismiss the impeachment charges against Trump, even though the articles have not been sent over from the House.
 
Hawley's resolution has support from GOP Sens. Rick Scott (Fla.), Mike BraunMichael BraunSenators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session Trump is out of touch with Republican voters on climate change GOP to Trump: Focus on policy MORE (Ind.), Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Senate Judiciary to vote on subpoena for Twitter CEO next week Government efforts to 'fix' social media bias overlooks the destruction of our discourse MORE (Tenn.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP clears key hurdle on Barrett's Supreme Court nomination, setting up Monday confirmation Texas and North Carolina: Democrats on the verge? Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus MORE (Texas), Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesDemocrat trails by 3 points in Montana Senate race: poll Poll shows statistical tie in Montana Senate race Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid MORE (Mont.), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Hillicon Valley: Senate panel votes to subpoena Big Tech executives | Amazon says over 19,000 workers tested positive for COVID-19 | Democrats demand DHS release report warning of election interference GOP senators call on Trump to oppose nationalizing 5G MORE (Wyo.), Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonCotton mocks NY Times over claim of nonpartisanship, promises to submit op-eds as test Barrett fight puts focus on abortion in 2020 election COVID outbreak threatens GOP's Supreme Court plans MORE (Ark.), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstBiden to campaign in Iowa for first time since winning nomination The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden search for undecided voters in final stretch Biden seeks to close any path for Trump win in race's final days MORE (Iowa), David Perdue (Ga.) and James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeGovernors urge negotiators to include top priorities in final defense policy bill Sexual assault case against Air Force general can proceed, judge rules House Democrat optimistic defense bill will block Trump's Germany withdrawal MORE (Okla.).
 
"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 a statement.
 
Perdue added that "if the House refuses to send over the articles, the Senate should have the ability to dismiss and move on to finding real solutions for the American people.”
 
Talk of the Senate either trying to start Trump's trial without the articles, or dismiss them before they have formally been sent across the Capitol, has bounced across Washington as lawmakers have waited for Pelosi to reveal her next move.
 
The House Speaker has not tipped her hand on when she will send the articles, saying last month that she wanted more details on the rules for the trial. Democrats expect she will eventually send the articles, potentially as soon as this week.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP Senate confirms Trump Supreme Court pick to succeed Ginsburg Murkowski predicts Barrett won't overturn Roe v. Wade Biden seeks to close any path for Trump win in race's final days MORE (R-S.C.) said over the weekend that he would try to work with McConnell “to change the rules of the Senate to start the trial without her, if necessary.”

But McConnell and his staff have repeatedly shot down talk of starting the trial before the articles are sent to the Senate.

“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,” McConnell said on Friday.

Asked last week how realistic the idea was that the Senate could start a trial without the articles, a spokesman for McConnell replied: “Zero percent.”