South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham proposed changing the Senate rules dictating impeachment to remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from the process altogether, allowing the Senate to proceed with a trial based on the articles passed in December without the speaker’s approval.
“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 said on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Features.
Graham further accused Pelosi of pulling off a “political stunt” through withholding the articles of impeachment passed by House Democrats days before Christmas. Pelosi has refused to submit the articles to the Senate for a trial demanding Republican Senate Majority Leader McConnell of Kentucky to commit to certain parameters for proceedings pushed by Democrats before continuing with the process.
“My goal is to start this trial in the next coming days, not let Nancy Pelosi take over the Senate,” he said. “My number one goal is to not let the Speaker of the House become the Majority Leader of the Senate.”
Since the House passed impeachment articles, one for abuse of power and one for obstruction of Congress, Democratic and Republican senators have sparred over what the impending impeachment trial will look like. Democrats have called for the additional testimony of new witnesses indirectly acknowledging that the rushed hearings in the House failed to drum up the damning evidence needed to incriminate the president. In turn, this failure has caused public opinion on impeachment to go underwater with Americans now evenly split in their support and opposition to the impeachment circus unfolding in the nation’s capital, according to Real Clear Politics’ latest aggregate of polls on the issue.
McConnell on the other hand has rejected Democratic pleas to extend the sham proceedings through additional witnesses, noting that the fact-finding mission is a responsibility held by the House under impeachment proceedings. The Senate is now slated to hold a trial to determine the president’s innocence or guilt based on the findings from the lower chamber, where the Democrats’ own witnesses exonerated President Donald Trump of any criminal conduct let alone a “high crime and misdemeanor” that warrants removal from office.
Pelosi’s decision to withhold the articles of impeachment from the Senate however, has exposed the deceptive nature of the entire process against the president to be nothing more than a Democratic sham intent on reversing the results of the 2016 election. The proceedings have only backfired on Democrats who are now scrambling to court public opinion in their favor by attempting to force Republicans to conduct a Senate trial in their favor after conducting a blatantly unfair process in the House.
If Trump were truly a clear and present danger to the survival of the Republic, Pelosi would have immediately marched the articles of impeachment across the hall to the Senate the moment they passed the floor of the House.