Pelosi v McConnell Part 2: A Motion to Dismiss

Trial of Impeachment:

“The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.”


“Because the Constitution both provides the Senate with the “sole power to try impeachments” and empowers “Each House…to determine the Rules of its Proceedings,” the Senate has formulated its own special impeachment trial procedures (first written down by Thomas Jefferson when he was Vice President). In President Andrew Johnson’s impeachment trial, the Senate formulated an additional set of rules that have largely remained intact ever since and were followed by the Senate in President Clinton’s impeachment trial.

The Supreme Court accepted the Senate’s arguments in Nixon v. United States (1993) on the principal ground that the Senate’s power to try impeachments included the nonreviewable final discretion to determine how to conduct its trials. The Court did not address the propriety of judicial review of the Senate’s possible deviation from any explicit safeguard required by the Constitution for impeachment trials.

On January 27, 1999, the Senate voted on (two) motions in public session; the motion to dismiss failed on a nearly party line vote of 56–44, while the motion to depose witnesses passed by the same margin.

On January 25, 1999, Senator Robert Byrd moved for dismissals of both articles of impeachment for lack of merit. On the following day, Representative Bryant moved to call witnesses to the trial, a question the Senate had scrupulously avoided to that point. In both cases, the Senate voted to deliberate on the question in private session, rather than public, televised procedure. On January 27, the Senate voted on both motions in public session; the motion to dismiss failed on a nearly party line vote of 56–44, while the motion to depose witnesses passed by the same margin. A day later, the Senate voted down motions to move directly to a vote on the articles of impeachment and to suppress videotaped depositions of the witnesses from public release….”

Impeachment of Bill Clinton – Wikipedia

If the media gets it right, after Pelosi is through setting the Republicans up by making them attempt to defend the indefensible, they should be able to make an easy slam dunk of the Republican shit show that they will try to pass off to the public as a fair and impartial trial as required by the Constitution.


So, here’s my question:

Is Pelosi correct in withholding the Articles of Impeachment while looking for a way to navigate around an imminent Senate pretrial motion to dismiss?