On Monday, a group of Republican senators introduced a resolution to dismiss articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump before the House of Representatives sends them over, reports The Hill.
The resolution was introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, and it is meant to change the Senate’s impeachment rules. The current rules, according to Hawley, do not address a delay in transmitting impeachment articles against a president.
“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 Missouri senator explained in a statement.
House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have refused to send the articles to the upper chamber. The articles, Democrats claim, will be sent to the Senate once Majority Leader Mitch McConnell commits to holding a fair and impartial trial.
If Hawley’s resolution passes, the House will have 25 days to send articles of impeachment to the Senate, and if it refuses to do so, a senator could dismiss impeachment “with prejudice for failure by the House of Representatives to prosecute such articles” with a simple majority vote.
Several prominent senators are supporting the resolution, including Rick Scott of Florida, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Braun of Indiana, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, David Perdue of Georgia, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, John Barrasso of Wyoming, and Steve Daines of Montana.
In a statement, Cruz — who ran against Trump in the 2016 Republican primary, but now fully supports his agenda — accused House Democrats of making a “mockery” of the United States Constitution.
“Now, they’re undermining the role of the Senate by attempting to dictate the terms of the Senate’s trial,” he said.
Although he does not support Hawley’s resolution, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said last week that he would try to persuade McConnell to change the Senate rules and start the trial.
McConnell has repeatedly dismissed all Republican initiatives, however.
“We can’t hold a trial without the articles,” he said on Friday.
Top Democrats have indicated that they do not plan on holding the articles indefinitely, but it remains unclear when the House will send them over to the Senate.
According to House Democrats, Trump committed impeachable offenses when he pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, threatening to cut military aid unless his requests are fulfilled.
The president claims to have done nothing wrong, and maintains that impeachment is yet another Democratic “hoax.”