U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is jumping on board with several other Republican senators hatching a plan to simply drop both of the impeachment charges against President Donald Trump.
Scott and several other senators, led by U.S. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., produced a resolution that would simply drop the charges if they are not handed over to the U.S. Senate within 25 days of the original U.S. House vote to impeach.
“Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are making a mockery of our government. Democrats have wanted to impeach Donald Trump since he came down that escalator four years ago. They just hate Trump. But Chairman Schiff did a great job showing the American people that the president did nothing wrong and that this is just an effort to undo the 2016 election. If Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to send the articles to the Senate, we should dismiss the articles of impeachment and get back to work on all the things that aren’t getting done, like securing the border, passing No Budget, No Pay and lowering the cost of prescription drugs,” Scott said on Monday.
Hawley has also lined up several high profile backers in his effort to simply drop the charges and move on from impeachment. U.S. Sen.Ted Cruz, R-Tex., who was Trump’s chief rival in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, dismissed efforts to impeach his former adversary.
“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. Now, they’re undermining the role of the Senate by attempting to dictate the terms of the Senate’s trial. Under our Constitution, 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,” Cruz said.
There is a common theme among the 11 cosponsors of this resolution: disdain for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with all but two mentioning her by name in their remarks on the resolution. U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., had particularly harsh words for Pelosi.
“It’s time to put up or shut up, and stand up to Nancy Pelosi. House Democrats have been obsessed with impeaching President Trump before he was even sworn into office. First, they rushed through a rigged process, now they have cold feet. Enough with the political games. It’s time to get back to work for Montana and the American people,” Daines said.
Scott’s office offered the following background on why the resolution to drop all charges was drafted and why the senator supports it:
The Senate has adopted a set of 26 rules that govern all impeachment proceedings, known as the “Rules of Procedure and Practice in the Senate When Sitting on Impeachment Trials.” Those Rules presume prompt delivery of the articles of impeachment to the Senate following their adoption by the House. Historically, the House delivered articles of impeachment to the Senate for action almost simultaneously with the vote to impeach. During the Clinton impeachment, for example, the articles were transmitted to the Senate the same day they were approved. Consequently, the current Senate rules have no mechanism to address Speaker Pelosi’s unprecedented attempt to prevent a Senate trial by withholding the articles after the president has been impeached.
Speaker Pelosi’s gambit raises grave constitutional concerns. Article 1, Section 3 gives the Senate the “sole” power to try impeachment cases. But if the speaker refuses to transmit the articles after the president has been impeached, she could prevent the Senate from exercising its constitutional prerogative, perhaps indefinitely.
This resolution would amend the Senate’s impeachment rules to prevent this abuse of the Constitution and protect the Senate’s sole power to try impeachment. The resolution would allow the Senate to dismiss for lack of prosecution any articles of impeachment that the House of Representatives has delayed transmitting for 25 calendar days or more. Under this new rule, any senator would be entitled to move to dismiss once the allotted time period had elapsed. Any motion to dismiss would be voted upon by the full Senate.
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