Update: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted Friday that McConnell had “showed his true colors” by joining Hawley’s resolution.
By joining a resolution to dismiss, Sen. McConnell showed his true colors. Americans have now seen what is at stake in a fair trial with witnesses & evidence, and new evidence has emerged. Every Senator will have to vote: is their loyalty is to the President or the Constitution?
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 10, 2020
Hawley responded by pointing out news that Pelosi planned to send Trump’s impeachment articles to the Senate next week.
Faced with our motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute her case, Pelosi caves https://t.co/1uG8Mkxx0e
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 10, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell became the 13th cosponsor of Senator Josh Hawley’s resolution to update Senate rules and dismiss the “bogus impeachment” against President Trump if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not send over impeachment articles in 25 days.
Hawley, an outspoken critic of Democratic efforts over impeachment, was initially joined by ten other Republican senators in proposing the legislation on Monday, including Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Rick Scott of Florida. On Tuesday, Rand Paul added his support and Kelly Loeffler signed on in her first act as a senator.
“It’s been 19 days. It could be 90 days. It could be 190 days,” Hawley said in a speech introducing the resolution on the Senate floor. “There is nothing that will stop the speaker from sitting on these articles.”
“If Americans are sick of this impeachment saga, this partisan circus, now? Just wait when we’re still sitting here in October or January of next year, or January of the year following, or who knows when? Without a trial. Without adjudication. Without any resolution.”
McConnell has grown increasingly confident in forcing Pelosi’s hand in recent days, after the Republican leadership whipped the 51 votes necessary to establish a trial without a resolution to negotiations with Democrats. McConnell is aiming to model the trial after that of former President Bill Clinton, while Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has demanded guarantees on witnesses.
On Thursday, McConnell issued an ultimatum to Pelosi, saying “this conversation is over” and that the Senate would move on and “get back to the people’s business” if the House continues to withhold the articles.
Politico later reported that McConnell told Republicans on Thursday that he expects the articles as soon as Friday, with an impeachment trial possibly beginning early next week.