Donald Trump has been calling for the Senate to dismiss impeachment without calling witnesses as soon as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) actually moves to advance the articles of impeachment.
Although Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that Senate leadership would be in total coordination with the White House, Trump’s hopes for dismissal were dashed on Monday when Senate GOP leadership reversed course, signaling that the GOP contingent of the Senate believes “both sides need to be heard.”
This statement signals a departure from previous Senate sentiments that impeachment was not worthy of a second thought. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) is involved in Senate GOP leadership and said that Senate Republicans are “generally are not interested in the motion to dismiss.”
This echoes the comments of Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who revealed last week that she’s working with a group of GOP Senators to call impeachment trial witnesses.
While McConnell indicated early on that that his inclination was to dismiss impeachment, it’s becoming apparent that Senate Republicans are not willing to unite on the matter and it would not be possible to garner the 51 votes required to approve dismissal.
The Washington Times reported that instead, the Senate will likely approve a trial, and “most Republicans appear willing to go along with McConnell’s plan to start the trial first then consider witnesses later, rather than upfront, as Democrats want.”
Although Senate Republicans may not be completely on board with Trump’s request to dismiss impeachment outright, the Senate is still expected to vote to acquit the president.