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Graham mulls rule changes to start impeachment trial without articles

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Sunday that he is mulling rule changes in an effort to quickly start the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump without the articles that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is withholding from the upper chamber

Graham told Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures” that he would work with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to change the chamber’s rules if the articles are not sent this week. 

“What I would do if she continues to refuse to send the articles as required by the Constitution, I would work with Sen. McConnell to change the rules of the Senate to start the trial without her if necessary,” he said.

The South Carolina senator accused Pelosi of a “political stunt” meant to “extort…a trial to her liking.” 

“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. If they don’t come, dismiss the case and get on with governing the country,” Graham said.

Graham added that he hopes the Senate trial will be over by the end of January, and if the American people want a different president, they can decide that in November.

The House impeached the president on two articles including abuse of power and obstruction of Congress last month, but Pelosi has not sent the articles to the Senate.

The Speaker has withheld the articles, requesting McConnell and the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) establish the rules of the trial beforehand. 

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