Republican Senator Josh Hawley revealed to Axios that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is preparing a resolution that would leave room for President Trump’s lawyers to move immediately to dismiss the impeachment charges if they so choose.
Hawley introduced a resolution to allow dismissal of what he called “bogus impeachment” early January.
Per Axios, Republican Senate leaders, including McConnell and Roy Blunt, the senior senator from Missouri, have already said members aren’t interested in a vote to dismiss. And it seems unlikely that Trump’s team would push for what would almost certainly be a losing vote — a move that could be seen as a sign of weakness at the outset of the trial.
The Hill reports Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) told Axios Saturday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is expected to present a resolution that will allow President Trump’s legal counsel to motion to immediately dismiss the charges during the Senate impeachment trial that starts in earnest Tuesday.
“I am familiar with the resolution as it stood a day or two ago,” Hawley told the news source.
“My understanding is that the resolution will give the president’s team the option to either move to judgment or to move to dismiss at a meaningful time,” the junior senator continued.
Hawley also said that he would be “very, very surprised” if the final resolution didn’t give Trump’s lawyers that ability and that he might not vote for it.
Earlier this week, McConnell told reporters that “there is little or no sentiment in the Republican conference for a motion to dismiss. Our members feel that we have an obligation to listen to the arguments.”
Regardless, Trump’s defense team has signaled that it wants a quick Senate trial. According to Axios, GOP lawmakers have prepared for a time frame as short as two weeks.
On Saturday, Trump’s legal team went after the articles of impeachment that were passed by the House in a statement, calling them “constitutionally invalid.”
“This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election — now just months away,” the statement continued.