GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Sunday that if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fails to hand over the articles of impeachment against President Trump soon, Senate Republicans should take the “matter in our own hands” and begin the trial.
“My goal is to start this trial in the next coming days,” the South Carolina lawmaker 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 and invite the House over to participate if they would like.”
Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to change the rules in the chamber to hasten the impeachment trial, adding that he hopes to have it over “by the end of January.”
“I find it a political stunt for Nancy Pelosi not to send the articles over. Mitch McConnell is not going to let her run the Senate trial,” Graham said. “Her time is over. It is now time for the Senate to dispose of these impeachment articles with a trial in the Senate.”
The Democratic-controlled House voted to approve two articles of impeachment on Dec. 18 — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — against Trump over his dealings in Ukraine.
But Pelosi has refused to turn over the articles for an impeachment trial in the GOP-majority Senate until McConnell makes assurances that he will conduct a fair hearing.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has called on McConnell to allow administration officials to testify about why nearly $400 million in US military assistance to Ukraine was held up.
Democrats claim Trump leveraged the funds to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation into Joe Biden, Trump’s 2020 political rival.
“What she’s doing is bad for the country,” Graham said of the House speaker. “It’s bad for the Senate. It keeps us from getting on with the business of the American people. It denies the president his day in court.”