On impeachment, an invitation to a motion to dismiss

Chuck Schumer’s moan that “the facts” need to “com[e] out” before a full impeachment trial can occur is an invitation to a motion to dismiss the House’s articles of impeachment, once they arrive. The House had its opportunity to develop the facts. If it didn’t develop facts sufficient to support removing the president, the Senate shouldn’t waste its time on the matter.

Mitch McConnell reportedly is considering a motion to dismiss. According to this report, he hinted that the Senate will move to dismiss the articles of impeachment after opening argument.

McConnell noted that in the 1999 trial of Bill Clinton, Schumer supported a motion to dismiss the case. He also recalled that Schumer opposed calling live witnesses. This time around, Schumer wants to call at least four witnesses who did not appear before the House.

Some Republicans, including President Trump apparently, also want to call witnesses during the impeachment trial. Joe and Hunter Biden have been mentioned, along with the whistleblower and even Adam Schiff. However, I agree with those who want to end the impeachment trial early. If Republicans want to hear from certain players, they can try to bring them in as part of the ordinary oversight process.

In theory, dismissing the impeachment articles wouldn’t necessarily end the matter. The House could still do the work Schumer thinks needed to be done in the first place — e.g., trying to enforce subpoenas that would enable Democrats to question John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, etc.

I don’t think House Dems would do so. I think they want to move on. But it would be up to them.

Frankly, I think the old cliche “mistakes were made, it’s time to move on” applies here. President Trump made a mistake by trying, briefly, to use aid to Ukraine as a means of inducing Ukraine to announce an investigation of his likely opponent in the 2020 election. The House made a bigger mistake by purporting to find this a high crime/misdemeanor and dragging us through an impeachment proceeding.

The sooner this is over, the better for the country.

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