Jay Sekulow, President Trump’s personal lawyer, signaled on Wednesday that the White House will not try to dismiss the impeachment case against his client.
Sekulow said he’s not interested in making a motion to dismiss because the impeachment case is “ridiculous.”
“I want to let them try their case, and we want to try our case because we believe without a question the president will be acquitted,” he told reporters. “There is not a doubt.
“Those of you who know me know I don’t rule out anything. … The way the procedures are set up, at this point, here’s what I believe is going to happen: It looks like they’re going to spend tomorrow and Friday. And then I suspect that we’ll start on Saturday, and then we’ll go probably another day or two,” Sekulow continued when asked if he was ruling out the motion to dismiss.
The indication from Trump’s legal team that it will not try to dismiss the articles comes after Senate Republicans did not include a built-in motion to dismiss in their rules resolution. The Clinton rules, unlike the current resolution, included language to force a motion to dismiss after opening arguments and questions from senators.
Trump threw Republicans a curveball earlier this month when he threw his support behind an immediate dismissal of the articles of impeachment amid a stalemate between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
“Many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial based on the no evidence, no crime, read the transcripts, ‘no pressure’ Impeachment Hoax, rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have. I agree!” Trump tweeted.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told reporters
after Trump’s comments that the Senate Republican caucus doesn’t have the votes to dismiss the articles.
“I think our members generally are not interested in a motion to dismiss. … Certainly there aren’t 51 votes for a motion to dismiss,” Blunt, the No. 4 Senate Republican, told reporters after a closed-door leadership meeting.
It would take 51 votes to dismiss the articles. McConnell would likely have to wrangle all of the votes from the 53 members of his caucus, several of whom have publicly said that they would not support dismissing the articles.
Reporters were waiting to see if the White House team would file a motion to dismiss on Wednesday morning, when both sides had a 9 a.m. deadline. According to a Senate Democratic aide, neither side filed motions.