Jan 5, 2020

Graham proposes changing Senate rules if Pelosi doesn't send articles of impeachment

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" that if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not transmit the articles of impeachment this week, he will seek to change the Senate's rules so that it can proceed to a trial without them.

Why it matters: Graham's comments follow a similar threat by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) last week and reflect growing Republican frustration with Pelosi's decision to withhold the articles until the Senate agrees to a fair trial. There are currently 53 Republican senators, and changing the rules would only need a 51-vote majority.

The big picture: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he wants to first agree to hear the case against President Trump and then later hold a vote on whether to call witnesses.

  • Leading Senate Democrats are advocating for a resolution that would outline a process for presenting the case and calling witnesses from the start.

What they're saying: "If we don’t get the articles this week, then we need to take matters in our own hands," Graham, a key Trump ally who has already said he's made up his mind about impeachment, told Fox News.

  • "My goal is to start this trial in the next coming days, not let Nancy Pelosi take over the Senate," he added.

Go deeper:

Editor’s note: This post has been corrected to show that there are 53 Republican senators (not 52).

Go deeper

Pelosi confirms House will vote to send impeachment articles on Wednesday

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed in a statement Tuesday that the House will vote Wednesday on a resolution that would name impeachment managers and transmit the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate.

Why it matters: The vote would end Pelosi's pressure campaign against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow additional documents and witnesses in the Senate's impeachment trial. McConnell said at a press conference that the trial will likely begin next Tuesday, with "housekeeping" measures like the swearing-in of senators taking place this week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 14, 2020

Pelosi signals she'll send impeachment articles to Senate next week

Photo: Michael Brochstein/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues Friday that she will ask House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler to "be prepared“ to name impeachment managers and send the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate next week.

Why it matters: Her decision would potentially end a weeks-long standoff between Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over the structure of the Senate trial — specifically whether new documents or witnesses would be allowed.

Go deeperArrowJan 10, 2020

What to expect this week as Pelosi prepares to send articles of impeachment

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

As she prepares to finally send over the articles of impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is warning there could be a "cover-up" to protect President Trump in the Republican-led Senate. Republicans, meanwhile, are testing ways to use the trial as a wedge issue on Democrats.

Driving the news: Pelosi is expected to name House managers this week after consulting with her caucus at a meeting on Tuesday morning. She'll deliver the articles shortly after, though the precise timing is still unclear.

Go deeperArrowJan 12, 2020