Senate Republicans Won't Dismiss Trump Charges

The votes aren't there, GOP leaders say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2020 4:47 AM CST
Senate Republicans Won't Dismiss Trump Charges
Laura Albinson of Pasadena, Md., displays a message for members of the House as they leave the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 10, 2020.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senior Senate Republicans are still trying to settle on the format of President Trump's impeachment trial—but they have made it clear that there will be a trial, despite the president's call to dismiss the charges. Trump tweeted Sunday that a trial instead of "outright dismissal" gives "the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have." Republicans said Monday that any motion to dismiss would not have the necessary votes, even though the GOP holds a 53-seat majority, the Washington Post reports. "I don't think there's any interest on our side of dismissing," says Sen. Roy Blunt. "Certainly, there aren’t 51 votes for a motion to dismiss." Blunt says Trump has previously said "he deserves an opportunity to get a fair hearing ... and I think that’s ultimately what will happen. "

Sources tell Politico that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to finalize a resolution on trial rules Tuesday that will be "substantially similar" to those that governed former President Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999. The resolution is expected to delay decisions on whether additional witnesses should be called until after the trial is underway, which could be as soon as this week. White House sources tell CBS that at least four Republicans are expected to join Democrats in voting to allow additional witnesses to be called. Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, and possibly Cory Gardner want to keep the possibility open, the sources say, while Sen. Lamar Alexander is seen as a "traditionalist" who will want to follow precedent, and Sen. Rand Paul is a "wild card." (More Trump impeachment stories.)

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