Lindsey Graham Just Promised to Change the Senate Rules If Democrats Don’t Hurry Up on Impeachment

Oh, and he’d like to have the trial over by the end of the month.

Susan Walsh/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

Senate judiciary committee chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Sunday that he aims to start Donald Trump’s impeachment trial “in the next coming days”—and promised to change the rules of the Senate if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) does not send articles of impeachment by then.

“I would work with [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell to change the rules of the Senate so we can start the trial without her,” Graham told Maria Bartiromo on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures.

 

The House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump last month, finding the president guilty of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The House was then supposed to send the articles over to the Senate, which has sole responsibility for holding the impeachment trial.

But Pelosi has refused to send the articles to the Senate because McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have not yet agreed on the trial’s parameters, such as how long it will take and what process it will follow. Democrats have questioned whether McConnell can set those rules impartially since he noted he’s been coordinating with the White House on its impeachment strategy.

Pelosi has downplayed any political motivations for the delay. Meanwhile, Graham called Pelosi’s refusal to send the articles over “a political stunt” and accused Pelosi of “trying to extort from the majority leader of the Senate a trial to her liking.”

Graham told Bartiromo that he plans to speak with McConnell about rule changes this week, and he’d like to have the trial over by the end of January.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.