The first test may come soon after the trial begins in earnest Tuesday, when one of Trump’s allies could push for a motion to dismiss the case despite McConnell’s advice. Just five days after meeting with the majority leader, Trump took to Twitter to continue advocating for such a move, writing that “many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial . . . rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have.”
Officials familiar with the White House strategy say no final decision has been made, warning that it will probably be a last-minute call.
Continued consideration of the move comes as McConnell warned last week that there is “little or no sentiment” in the GOP caucus to dismiss the charges, and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday that such a motion is “dead for practical purposes.” But Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) said he “very well might” move to hold a vote to dismiss the charges, even at the outset, and even if it fails.
“That sends a message,” Perdue said. “One . . . that this is an illegitimate process that’s being handed to us, and if we accept it the way we’re accepting it now, it’s a bad historic precedent.”