It’s been nearly three weeks since the House of Representatives passed articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Despite this, Speaker Nancy Pelosi still hasn’t sent them to the Senate for a trial — and at least one prominent person there is sick of waiting.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and on a recent episode of Fox News‘ Sunday Morning Futures, he said that he and other Republicans will “take matters into our own hands” and remove Pelosi from the process if the articles are not transmitted in the very near future.
Time for action
“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 told host Maria Bartiromo.
When Bartiromo asked for a time frame, Graham said it would happen in “days, not weeks” if Pelosi’s “political stunt” didn’t stop.
“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,” he went on.
The congressman asserted: “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.”
Clinton model for trial
Graham then offered details on what the procedures for a Senate trial would look like, pointing to the country’s last impeachment as an example.
“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,” the South Carolina Republican explained.
“But,” Graham added, “this should be done in a couple of weeks.”
He then laid out his preference for what would happen if things did not proceed according to that plan.
“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,” Graham stated.
“If they don’t come,” he warned, “dismiss the case and get on with governing the country.”