Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has reportedly created a “kill switch” for President Donald Trump’s upcoming Senate impeachment trial that would allow for the president’s legal team to either seek an immediate verdict or a dismissal of the case if the trial descends into a circus spectacle.
“I am familiar with the resolution as it stood a day or two ago,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) told Axios. “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 added that in the most recent draft of the organizing resolution he saw there was an option for the president’s counsel to make a motion in multiple places, including at the beginning of the proceedings,” Axios reported. “Hawley added that if the final resolution does not allow Trump’s lawyers the option to dismiss or move to judgment at a ‘meaningful point’ in the trial, he would be ‘very, very surprised,’ and might not vote for the organizing resolution.”
Hawley told Axios that if the option to dismiss the case was not available to the Trump legal team that it would give House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) too much power over the proceedings.
On Sunday, Hawley confirmed those remarks in a tweet, writing: “.@realDonaldTrump deserves the right during Senate trial to ask for a verdict or move to dismiss – otherwise trial will become endless circus run by Adam Schiff”
Trump has endorsed the idea on Twitter, writing: “Many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial based on the no evidence, no crime, read the transcripts, “no pressure” Impeachment Hoax, rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have. I agree!”
Many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial based on the no evidence, no crime, read the transcripts, “no pressure” Impeachment Hoax, rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have. I agree!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020
However, some top Republicans in the Senate are not hot on the idea of dismissing the trial because they believe that they have a solid case and that a motion to dismiss the trial could look weak.
“Our members generally are not interested in a motion to dismiss,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said. “They think both sides need to be heard. They believe the president needs to be heard for the first time in a fair setting.”
A source close to McConnell told Breitbart News: “My pal Cocaine Mitch is again proving his mettle when it comes to outmaneuvering leftist Democrats with this kill switch. If they even think about stepping out of line and being unfair in the slightest, it’s time to engage said kill switch and end this nonsense once and for all.”
Breitbart News noted that the term “Cocaine Mitch” comes from “a losing GOP primary candidate in West Virginia [who] once derisively nicknamed [McConnell] ‘Cocaine Mitch’—a nickname [McConnell has] since embraced as indicative of his tough persona—has a history of outsmarting Democrats in the Senate.”
Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said last week that he expects the trial to last approximately two weeks, adding, “God help us if it lasts six weeks.”