McConnell backs measure to change Senate rules, dismiss impeachment without articles

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFEC flags McConnell campaign over suspected accounting errors Poll: 59 percent think president elected in November should name next Supreme Court justice Mark Kelly: Arizona Senate race winner should be sworn in 'promptly' MORE (R-Ky.) is backing a resolution to change the Senate’s rules to allow for lawmakers to dismiss articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden on Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: 'What country are we in?' Romney: 'Unthinkable and unacceptable' to not commit to peaceful transition of power Two Louisville police officers shot amid Breonna Taylor grand jury protests MORE before the House sends them over.

Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleySenate GOP faces pivotal moment on pick for Supreme Court Renewed focus on Trump's Supreme Court list after Ginsburg's death What Facebook's planned change to its terms of service means for the Section 230 debate MORE (R-Mo.) announced on Thursday that McConnell has signed on as a co-sponsor to the resolution, which he introduced earlier this week.

Spokesmen for McConnell didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about his support.

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Changing the rules would either require a two-thirds vote or for Republicans to deploy the "nuclear" option.

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.

McConnell has repeatedly lashed out at Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHoyer: House should vote on COVID-19 aid — with or without a bipartisan deal Ruth Bader Ginsburg lies in repose at Supreme Court McCarthy threatens motion to oust Pelosi if she moves forward with impeachment MORE (D-Calif.) for delaying sending over the two articles of impeachment.

"This is what they have done: They have initiated one of the most grave and most unsettling processes in our Constitution and then refused to allow a resolution," he said on Thursday.

‘The Speaker began something that she herself predicted would be 'so divisive to the country' ... and now she is unilaterally saying it cannot move forward towards a resolution," he added.