Eleven Republican senators have signed onto a resolution seeking an immediate dismissal of two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has refused to send them over.
“The Constitution gives the Senate sole power to adjudicate articles of impeachment, not the House,” said Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, who introduced the resolution, in a statement Monday.
“If Speaker [Nancy] 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 resolution would change Senate rules to permit the upper chamber to vote on articles of impeachment if the House fails to send the articles over within 25 days.
Pelosi has so far refused to send the articles because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not committed to allowing witnesses at the trial. But Republicans have argued that constitutionally, the House has no say in how the Senate conducts its trial.
“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,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who is co-sponsoring the resolution, said.
“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,” he added.
Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa and John Barrasso of Wyoming, who are part of the Senate Republican leadership team, both co-sponsored the resolution as well. GOP Sens. Rick Scott of Florida, Mike Braun of Indiana, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Steve Daines of Montana, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, David Perdue of Georgia, and James Inhofe of Oklahoma have also signed on.
Last week, McConnell said that the Senate could not hold a trial unless the House formally sends over the impeachment articles.
However, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham suggested on Sunday that the chamber change the rules to allow for a trial without the articles.