Following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to withhold sending Articles of impeachment to the senate since Donald Trump’s infamous impeachment by the House in December 2019, Senate Judiciary committee leader and staunch Trump ally, Lindsey Graham has warned Pelosi to submit the articles of impeachment to the senate this week or the senate will create new rules that will absolve her of any powers in the impeachment process.
Trump was impeached by the US House following votes along party lines last month, but Pelosi has refused sending the articles to the senate for a trial, saying she will only send it when she is assured of a ‘fair’ trial by the Senate, meaning technically Trump is not impeached, because articles of impeachment must be sent to the senate, before a President is said to be impeached.
Graham accused Pelosi of playing political games by exerting control over the Senate trial by keeping it from starting. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recognized Friday on the Senate floor the chamber’s rules prevented him from doing anything until Pelosi does her part.
“What I would do, if she continues to refuse to send the articles as required by the Constitution, I would work with Senator McConnell to change the rules of the Senate so we could start the trial without her, if necessary,” Graham proposed on Fox News.
When asked how long he would wait before taking this step, Graham replied, “Days, not weeks.”
“Well, we’re not going to let Nancy Pelosi use the rules of the Senate to her advantage. This is dangerous to the presidency as an institution,” Graham said. “They impeached the president, but the speaker of the House is holding the articles back, trying to extort from the majority leader of the Senate a trial to her liking. They’re trying to hold these articles over the head of the president.”
“We’ll use the Clinton model, where you take the record established in the House, let the House managers appointed by Pelosi make the argument, let the president make his argument why the two articles are flawed, and then we’ll decide whether we want witnesses. But this should be done in a couple of weeks,” he said.
Graham said he hoped that the impeachment trial ends before the end of January, even if it means the senate pushing Pelosi out of the equation.
“If we don’t get the articles this week, then we need to take matters in our own hands and change the rules, deem them to be delivered to the Senate so we can start the trial, invite the House over to participate if they would like,” he said. ‘If they don’t come, dismiss the case and get on with governing the country.”