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 TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE before the House sends them over.

Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleySenate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  McConnell: 15-20 GOP senators will not vote for any coronavirus deal Trump plans to order Chinese company to sell TikTok's US operations: reports 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 PelosiHillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video Trump says he's considering executive action to suspend evictions, payroll tax Trump won't say if he disagrees with Birx that virus is widespread 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 BraunThis week: Negotiators hunt for coronavirus deal as August break looms Frustration builds as negotiators struggle to reach COVID-19 deal Unemployment benefits to expire as coronavirus talks deadlock MORE (Ind.), Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnGOP may face choice on tax cut or stimulus checks Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Teachers' union President Randi Weingarten calls Trump administration plan to reopen schools 'a train wreck'; US surpasses 3 million COVID-19 cases MORE (Tenn.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOn The Trail: The first signs of a post-Trump GOP Trump tests GOP loyalty with election tweet and stimulus strategy Republicans dismiss Trump proposal to delay election MORE (Texas), Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David Daines300 green groups say Senate has 'moral duty' to reject Trump's public lands nominee Stimulus checks debate now focuses on size, eligibility On The Money: GDP shrinks by record amount in second quarter amid virus lockdowns | Jobless claims rise for second straight week | McConnell tees up fight on unemployment benefits MORE (Mont.), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoLatest Trump proposal on endangered species could limit future habitat, critics say Republicans dismiss Trump proposal to delay election Barrasso nuclear bill latest GOP effort to boost uranium mining MORE (Wyo.), Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonOn The Trail: The first signs of a post-Trump GOP The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Brawls on Capitol Hill on Barr and COVID-19 Hillicon Valley: Tech CEOs brace for House grilling | Senate GOP faces backlash over election funds | Twitter limits Trump Jr.'s account MORE (Ark.), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstIowa Senate candidate raises 2K after dog goes viral Obama announces first wave of 2020 endorsements On The Trail: The first signs of a post-Trump GOP MORE (Iowa), David Perdue (Ga.) and James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeSenate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled Chamber of Commerce endorses Ernst for reelection 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 GrahamObama announces first wave of 2020 endorsements Trump putting TikTok ban on hold for 45 days: report This week: Negotiators hunt for coronavirus deal as August break looms 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.”