Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced a resolution Monday to dismiss the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump, which features robust Senate Republican support.
Sen. Hawley introduced a resolution to update the Senate rules to allow a motion to dismiss articles of impeachment for lack of prosecution. The bill features strong support across the Senate Republican conference, including Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Braun (R-IN), Marsha Blackburn (R-IN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Barrasso (R-WY), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Joni Ernst (R-IA), David Perdue (R-GA), and Jim Inhofe (R-OK).
The Missouri conservative said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has stalled on sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate after a bipartisan group of lawmakers opposed impeachment in the House and the American people have soured on it.
Sen. Hawley said in a statement Monday:
Speaker Pelosi started this bogus impeachment by claiming President Trump was an urgent “threat to democracy” who had to be removed now. But after a bipartisan vote against the articles in the House, and with the public opposed to the Democrats’ partisan games, Pelosi has changed her tune. Now she wants to prevent a Senate trial, perhaps indefinitely. But 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.
The Senate has adopted 26 rules that govern impeachment proceedings, known as the “Rules of Procedure and Practice in the Senate Sitting on Impeachment Trials.” The current Senate rules presume that the articles of impeachment would immediately be sent to Congress’s upper chamber if the House votes on impeachment. For instance, during the Bill Clinton impeachment proceedings, the articles were sent to the Senate the same day that the House voted to impeach Clinton.
After the House approved both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Pelosi has delayed sending the articles to Senate, believing that Congress’s upper chamber would not hold a fair trial of the president. However, Pelosi’s decision to postpone a Senate impeachment trial infringes on the Senate’s constitutional prerogative to conduct a trial.
Sen. Hawley’s resolution would allow the Senate to address this current standoff between Pelosi and the Senate by allowing a majority of senators to dismiss the articles of impeachment for lack of prosecution. The House of Representatives would have up to 25 calendar days to transmit the articles to the Senate.
The Missouri Republican’s proposal quickly gained steam from grassroots conservatives such as the Club for Growth and the Tea Party Patriots.
“If Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to send the articles to the Senate, we should dismiss the articles of impeachment and get back to work on all the things that aren’t getting done, like securing the border, passing No Budget, No Pay and lowering the cost of prescription drugs,” Sen. Scott said in a statement.
Sen. Braun said in a statement:
Nearly three weeks ago, Nancy Pelosi and her liberal cohorts voted to impeach President Trump, but rather than fulfill their constitutional duty and send the articles of impeachment to the Senate they’ve opted to play more partisan games. In the real world, it’s put up or shut up, which is why I’m introducing a mandate that forces Speaker Pelosi to deliver the articles of impeachment within 25 days. If Pelosi doesn’t think her case is strong enough to deliver within that timeframe then the Senate should be allowed to dismiss the case so we can get back to real problems like lowering the price of prescription drugs and passing USMCA.”
Sen. Ernst remarked:
Iowans are fed up with this political exercise that’s slowing us down from getting important things done, like passing the USMCA — a trade deal that will create over 175,000 jobs across this country. Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have been trying to impeach President Trump since day one, and now after voting on the articles, she’s stalling. Why? Because she knows she made a mistake. Iowans aren’t going to put up with this. Speaker Pelosi and her squad need to send over the articles so that we can get back to the people’s business. This resolution sets an important timetable that will allow us to do just that.”
According to Cruz:
Since the start of the impeachment process, 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. Under our Constitution, the Senate has the sole authority to try impeachment. It is the Senate’s duty to take up these articles without delay, and to resolve them in a timely and constitutionally appropriate manner.”
Sen. Daines said:
It’s time to put up or shut up, and stand up to Nancy Pelosi. House Democrats have been obsessed with impeaching President Trump before he was even sworn into office. First, they rushed through a rigged process, now they have cold feet. Enough with the political games. It’s time to get back to work for Montana and the American people.
Sen. Cotton said, “By failing to deliver the articles of impeachment, the Democrats are admitting they bumbled their partisan impeachment. If the articles aren’t delivered in a timely manner, they should be dismissed.”
Read Sen. Hawley’s resolution to dismiss the impeachment trial.