Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said on Sunday that if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi withholds articles of impeachment against President Trump from the Senate, the body would be forced to conduct an impeachment trial without them.
“What I would do, if she continues to refuse to send the articles as required by the Constitution, I would work with [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell to change the rules of the Senate so we could start the trial without her, if necessary,” Graham said on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures.
“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,” the senator went on.
The House voted on party lines in December to pass two articles of impeachment against the president over his actions regarding Ukraine, one for abuse of power and another for obstruction of Congress. Pelosi has delayed sending the articles to the Senate in order to ensure the body conducts a “fair trial.”
Graham on Sunday criticized Pelosi’s handling of the articles as “extortion.”
“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,” the senator 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.”