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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Americans debate life under COVID-19 risks The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip Democratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies 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 TrumpMulvaney: 'We've overreacted a little bit' to coronavirus Former CBS News president: Most major cable news outlets 'unrelentingly liberal' in 'fear and loathing' of Trump An old man like me should be made more vulnerable to death by COVID-19 MORE before the House sends them over.

Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyChinese official accuses US of 'pushing our two countries to the brink of a new Cold War' Trust in big government? Try civics education The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mnuchin sees 'strong likelihood' of another relief package; Warner says some businesses 'may not come back' at The Hill's Advancing America's Economy summit 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 PelosiBottom line This week: Surveillance fight sets early test for House's proxy voting Women suffering steeper job losses in COVID-19 economy 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.