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GOP Sen. Josh Hawley vows to seek dismissal of impeachment articles

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The former Constitutional law professor says House Democrats' delay shows their refusal to 'try their case'

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.)/(Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.) has vowed to introduce a measure to dismiss the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, saying that House Democrats' refusal to allow a trial in the upper chamber shows "they have no evidence."

What are the details?

Hawley, a former Constitutional law professor and Missouri attorney general, tweeted Thursday, "Dems said impeachment was URGENT. Now they don't want to have a trial, because they have no evidence. In real world, if prosecution doesn't proceed with case, it gets dismissed. So on Monday, I will introduce measure to dismiss this bogus impeachment for lack of prosecution."

"This will expose Dems' circus for what it is: a fake impeachment, abuse of the Constitution, based on no evidence," Hawley continued. "If Dems won't proceed with trial, bogus articles should be dismissed and @realDonaldTrump fully cleared."

Harvard Law professor Lawrence Tribe, who called for the Democrats to delay sending the articles to the Senate, called Hawley's plan "loony," with Hawley firing back, "Hey Dems, this is the guy who got you into this jam by recommending you withhold the Articles from Senate. Now he's literally making up constitutional provisions. Constitution says nothing about 'filing' (Tribe's word) Articles in Senate or otherwise giving House power over trial."

Sen. Hawley explained, "Constitution says House has power to impeach, Senate has sole power to try impeachment cases. For 1st time in history, Dems trying to obstruct an impeachment trial. Senate should update its rules to dismiss these (bogus) Articles if House Dems refuse to try their case."

Anything else?

According to The Hill, "Senate Republicans have also signaled that they want to acquit Trump fully, not merely dismiss the articles."

The outlet noted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in November, "I don't think there's any question that we have to take up the matter. The rules of impeachment are very clear, we'll have to have a trial. My own view is that we should give people the opportunity to put the case on."

However, that was prior to House Democrats' strategy to delay the trial. Sen. McConnell has since said, "It's beyond me how the Speaker and Democratic leader in the Senate think withholding the articles of impeachment and not sending them over gives them leverage. Frankly, I'm not anxious to have a trial. If [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)] thinks her case is so weak she doesn't want to send it over, throw me into that briar patch."

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