UPDATE: Mitch McConnell joins Sen. Hawley's proposal to allow dismissal for impeachment

4 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Thursday, January 09 2020 Jan 9, 2020 Thursday, January 09, 2020 2:10:00 PM CST January 09, 2020 in News
By: Avery Everett, KOMU 8 Digital Producer, Rachel Behrndt KOMU 8 Digital Producer

WASHINGTON — Sen. Josh Hawley introduced a resolution Monday to allow a motion to dismiss articles of impeachment for lack of prosecution.

Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) signed on to Senator Hawley's proposal.  

The move comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided to withhold the articles brought against President Donald Trump. Pelosi made the decision to not send the articles until she could see "the [trial] process that is set forth in the Senate."

In a news release Monday, Hawley said the following:

"Speaker Pelosi started this bogus impeachment by claiming President Trump was an urgent ‘threat to democracy’ who had to be removed now. 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."

Hawley's resolution would amend the Senate's current impeachment guidelines to allow the Senate to dismiss for lack of prosecution any articles of impeachment that the House of Representatives has delayed transmitting for 25 calendar days or more.

Under this new rule, any Senator could move to dismiss once the allotted time period has elapsed. Any motion to dismiss would then be voted on by the full Senate.

In response to the newly proposed Hawley Rule, the Missouri Democratic Party's Executive Director Lauren Gepford said Senate Republicans "have been outspoken about their desire to make this trial as unfair and biased as possible."

"Between abdicating their duties to be impartial jurors and simply refusing to vote on the hundreds of bills that are sitting on their desks, Senator Josh Hawley and his Republican colleagues should start doing their jobs," Gepford said. "Perhaps Senator Hawley isn't as confident in the President's eventual acquittal as the rest of his party is."

The proposed resolution was originally composed by 11 senators. 

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