Our headline today is a bit of a misnomer, seeing as how the mere fact that there IS an impeachment trial firmly puts this proceeding into circus territory already. Nonetheless, it’s up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the Republicans to keep the trial from doing any more damage to the country, Congress, and the office of the President than it already has. And according to a report from Axios, McConnell will do so by giving President Trump a “kill switch” with which he can call for an end to the trial at any time.
“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.”
Axios continued: “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. 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.”
In a tweet on Sunday, Sen. Hawley said this rule could be the only thing standing in the way of Democrats who would love to turn the trial into a neverending political showcase.
“@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,” Hawley wrote.
While providing President Trump with this tool will limit what Schiff, Jerrold Nadler, and the rest of the Democrat impeachment managers can do with their prosecution, talk of dismissing the articles of impeachment right away has largely gone by the wayside. In an interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace on Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham confirmed that there would be a full trial.
“Have you given up on the idea that the majority will vote to dismiss case right away?” Wallace asked.
“That’s dead for practical purposes,” Graham said. “There are a lot of senators who I think will wind up acquitting the president but believe we need to hear the House’s case [and] the president’s case in answer to the House’s case. The idea of dismissing the case early on is not going to happen. We don’t have the votes for that.”
That may be for the best, actually. For one, the public has yet to hear from President Trump’s defense team, and there could be some surprises waiting for the arrogant Democrats. Two, public polls have shown that the more time Democrats spend on trying to remove Trump from office on these thin charges, the more the public turns against them. Why rush to take away the rope when they’re doing such an excellent job tightening their own noose?