Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s rules for the impeachment trial leave open the possibility for a motion to dismiss from the White House lawyers. According to Axios, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri said a draft of the rules allowed President Donald Trump’s lawyers the right to file a motion to immediately dismiss the charges against the president.
“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,” Hawley said. Hawley told Axios the resolution granted the White House counsels the ability to file a motion to dismiss at several points throughout the trial, including at the beginning.
Hawley proposed a resolution earlier this month dismissing the case against the president that garnered the support of more than a dozen Republican senators, including McConnell. McConnell has acknowledged, however, that Republicans were not united on the resolution and did not have enough votes to pass it.
Hawley told Axios he would be surprised if the final resolution outlining the rules of the impeachment trial failed to include the right to dismiss the proceedings by Trump’s legal team. The Missouri senator added that if he right to dismiss was absent, he might not support the resolution.
Republicans and the White House are pushing for a quick trial in the Senate, with some expecting the process to be over in the upper chamber as quickly as two weeks.
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially transmitted the articles of impeachment to the Senate after weeks of delay in a futile attempt to demand new witness testimony in the coming trial. After failing to extract concessions without leverage, however, Pelosi handed over the impeachment articles as if it were a celebratory occasion.
On Wednesday, Pelosi announced the impeachment managers who would be making the case for removal in the Senate. They consist of several Steele dossier truthers led by California Rep. Adam Schiff, who has repeatedly lied and misled the public about the underlying issues.
The provisions in the impeachment trial rules allowing for the White House lawyers to file a motion to dismiss provide the Senate its only tool to shut Schiff down and prevent the chief perpetrator in Russia hoax from taking over the upper chamber for months.
On Friday, the White House announced additions to its legal team to defend the president throughout impeachment. Trump’s legal team will now include Ken Starr, Robert Ray, and Alan Dershowitz to litigate the case alongside Pat Cipollone, Jay Sekulow, Jane Raskin, and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
This article has been corrected.