Republican Senators Say They Will Not Vote to Dismiss Charges Against Trump Ahead of Trial

Tom Brenner/Reuters

Republican members of the U.S Senate, poised to begin an impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the coming days, voiced opposition on Monday to any attempt to dismiss the charges against him without a trial.

The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives is expected to formally send the charges to the Senate this week, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to help acquit his fellow Republican.

Trump appeared on Sunday to reverse his position on how the Senate should proceed, writing on Twitter that a full trial would give the Democrats who pursued impeachment undeserved credibility and signaling support for dismissal of the charges with no trial.

“There is almost no interest” among Republican senators for a motion to dismiss the House charges, Republican Senator Roy Blunt told reporters on Monday.

“I will not be supporting a motion to dismiss,” said Republican Senator Mitt Romney. “At this stage, the allegations that have been made are serious and deserve to be given consideration with the arguments for and against.”

Senator Susan Collins, among a handful of Republicans whom Democrats hope to persuade to back their call for witness testimony, told reporters she and a small group of colleagues were discussing a trial format that would allow lawmakers to vote on whether to include witnesses after hearing from each side and having the opportunity to pose questions.

“We’re still talking, and I think the discussions have been going well,” Collins told reporters, saying she strongly favored the approach taken during the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed sending the two articles of impeachment passed by the House on Dec. 18 to the Republican-led Senate, preventing McConnell from holding a quick trial right away that cleared the president.

DIVIDED OVER WITNESSES

The House charged Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The impeachment charges stem from Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to face Trump in the Nov. 3 presidential election.

House Democrats will discuss on Tuesday morning how to move forward, Pelosi said on Sunday, with the chamber possibly voting to send the charges to the Senate later that day.

Pelosi said the delay was meant to convince the U.S. public of the need to call witnesses in the Senate trial after Trump’s administration blocked some current and former officials from cooperating in the House impeachment inquiry.

McConnell has yet to say definitively how the Senate will conduct the trial.

He has not committed to allowing any witnesses or new documents in the proceedings and instead could steer the process toward a quick acquittal. McConnell has left open the possibility of deciding on witness testimony later in the trial. He has said he sees no chance of the Senate convicting Trump.

The Senate, which could open a trial rapidly after receiving the charges from the House, plans to meet daily except on Sundays each week to conduct the proceedings, likely beginning each day at noon EST (1700 GMT) and working until either 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. EST (2200 or 2300 GMT), according to congressional aides.

The Senate is expected to vote to acquit Trump even though some moderate Republicans have bristled over McConnell’s reflexive support for the president. Conviction and removal of Trump would require a two-thirds majority of those present in the 100-member chamber.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan and David Morgan; Additional reporting by Ginger Gibson; Writing by Jeff Mason and Will Dunham; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Bob
Member

Like I have said before confuction, you and your party ARE the party of communism and totalitarian rule. I cannot help it if you have been that way since before the first Revolutionary War of 1776. The second war will hopefully put ya’ll down and not allow totalitarian rule to EVER happen in America and the Constitution, Bill of Rights and The Declaration of Independence will again become the law of the land. We Americans, who love this country, know that you and your party want those founding documents gone and your mob rule to be put in place. You… Read more »

General Confusion
Member

“Please MOVE to n korea with your liberal friends.” The Real Bob

Ha ha ha ha! The only defense against criticism that you have is to get rid of the people who make the critique. That is part of fascism, you know. Eliminate all opposition, to make a one-party state.

Dave Hardesty
Member

We need to oust them all. Not willing to waste any more time and money on these butt lickers.

Bob
Member

confuction you are still and always will be a totally liberal POS communist. You have no idea what the Constitution even stands for or much less what is in it. You are the party of totalitarian control over everything and everybody without exception. Please MOVE to n korea with your liberal friends.

Michael
Member

Kathy wins the most preposterous statement of the day!

“The only reason Pelosi held the articles is that she knows most people are not paying attention. So, when they do come up, they can make up more lies.”

Sandra Lueder
Guest
Sandra Lueder

Why not say it out loud? The House Democrats knew what the vote would be b4 one syllable was uttered. They were off by three. Senate Repubs are still under the impression that this is all about fairness. It isn’t. This is war. Do a kabuki dance if you must.

General Confusion
Member

“These Republicans need to be on the president’s side!” Michelle

Michelle is confused.

All senators need to be on the Constitution’s side. If they are not going to uphold their sworn oath to it, they need to resign immediately.

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

These Republicans need to be on the president’s side! All witnesses allowed by the Dems and only FOR the Dems were heard during the house hearings!! 200% No crimes and no grounds for impeachment!! The weak Republicans in Senate need to be voted out of office!!

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