Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told The Washington Post on Wednesday that Senate Republicans have nearly all the votes they need to dismiss Democrats’ partisan articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump and that they are just waiting to hear back from a few Senators.
“There are 45, with about five to eight wanting to hear a little more,” Paul said in reference to Republicans’ 53-47 majority in the Senate. “I still would like to dismiss it, but there aren’t the votes to do it just yet.”
Paul said that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) is unifying the Republican senators with a lot of the things that Schiff is saying during the trial and that he intends to push dismissing the case in the near future.
“I will push it at some point,” Paul said. “The more Adam Schiff speaks, the more we become unified.”
Paul also dismissed Democrats’ calls to have former National Security Adviser John Bolton testify before the Senate, saying, “He’s a disgruntled employee with an ax to grind.”
“Some people who have talked to him think he has an ax to grind, that he’s angry he was publicly fired by the president,” Paul continued. “But he also has a history of believing in unlimited powers for the president. Which is the guiding light for John Bolton at this point? Axe to grind and books to sell? Or, be a player and say ‘even if I’m gone, he’s doing what I want on Iran and other things?’”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), while opposed to dismissing the articles of impeachment, has reportedly left the door open for that to be an option if Schiff turns the trial into a circus.
“I am familiar with the resolution as it stood a day or two ago,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) told Axios about McConnell’s openness to the idea. “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…”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said on Sunday that Republican senators were not necessarily looking to dismiss the articles of impeachment because acquitting the president would be a much stronger move.
“You know, I don’t think it is that likely,” Cruz responded. “And the reason is, I think dismissing this case is a much less attractive option than rendering final judgment and acquitting the president.”
“And the reason is twofold,” Cruz said. “Number one, if you do a dismissal, a dismissal doesn’t reach the merits. An acquittal, a verdict of not guilty, that verdict stands for all time.”
“Nancy Pelosi is going out on TV crowing that the president has been impeached forever,” Cruz continued. “Well, when we get to final judgment, the president will have been acquitted forever of these bogus impeachment charges. That’s a much better outcome for the president and for the country.”
Other senators, like Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), said, “Our members generally are not interested in a motion to dismiss. They think both sides need to be heard. They believe the president needs to be heard for the first time in a fair setting.”