Senate impeachment trial rules call for vote on witnesses, but no motion to dismiss

The organizing resolution for President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE’s impeachment trial will require that senators debate and vote on a motion to subpoena additional witnesses but not on a motion to dismiss articles of impeachment, say GOP senators who have viewed the resolution.

Language to require a debate and vote on witnesses after the House impeachment managers and Trump’s lawyers have made their arguments was strongly supported by Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPoll shows Collins displaces McConnell as most unpopular senator Collins says she's 'likely' to support calling witnesses for impeachment trial Democratic group plans mobile billboard targeting Collins on impeachment MORE (R-Maine), who has come under pressure from Democrats.

Senators would have been able to make motions to subpoena additional witnesses after phase one of the trial — and Senate Democrats have pledged to force such votes — but Collins’s language now formally ensures that the debate and vote will happen.


“I have been working with — it’s obvious who now — Sen. [Lisa] Murkowski [R-Alaska,] Sen. [Mitt] Romney [R-Utah,] and Sen. [Lamar] Alexander [R-Tenn.] to ensure there would be a roll call vote on whether or not witnesses should be called after we’ve heard the case and submitted our own questions,” Collins told reporters Wednesday.

In this respect, the organizing resolution for the Trump trial mirrors the resolution the Senate adopted 100-0 at the start of former President Clinton's trial, which guaranteed a vote on witnesses.

The organizing resolution that McConnell is circulating, however, does not make a specific provision for a debate and vote on a motion to immediately dismiss articles of impeachment, something that the Clinton organizing resolution included.

Alexander said the resolution McConnell will advance is “fundamentally” the same as the Clinton resolution.

“It guarantees a right to vote on witnesses after we’ve heard the arguments and asked our questions. And it does not allow for an early motion to dismiss, which is good, I think,” he said.