Fed up waiting for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to transmit the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate, Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) hinted Sunday the chamber should change the rules to begin the trial without them.
“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, if they don’t come, dismiss the case and get on with governing the country,” Graham told Fox News.
The House voted last month to approve two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — but Pelosi (D-Calif.) stunned political observers when she announced immediately afterward that actually sending them to the Senate, as the Constitution requires, was “never part of the conversation.”
For his part Graham said he wanted to the trial over by the end of this month and added that rules could be changed in “days, not weeks.”
The current strategy employed by Democrats, Graham argued, is potentially harmful to the executive branch’s power as well as the future of the presidency.
Graham served in the House prior to his election to the Senate and was one of the 13 Republican managers during the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s.
Graham discussed a bit of the Republican Senate majority’s strategy on how they would like the trial to proceed.
“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,” he said.
“But this should be done in a couple of weeks,” he said.