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Lindsey Graham just checkmated Nancy Pelosi over her refusal to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, where Trump is pretty much guaranteed to be acquitted.
During his time on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures, Graham essentially told Pelosi that either she hand over the articles of impeachment or the Senate will “take matters in our hands” – which could mean changing the Senate rules to bypass Pelosi’s role in the impeachment process entirely.
Take a look:
Fox News has more details on Graham's ultimatum to Pelosi:
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., insisted Sunday that if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not deliver articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate by the end of the week, the Senate should "take matters in our own hands."
Graham accused Pelosi of playing political games and trying to exert control over the Senate trial by keeping it from starting. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recognized Friday on the Senate floor the chamber's rules prevented him from doing anything until Pelosi does her part, but Graham proposed a solution that could remove what McConnell has called an "impasse" in the process.
"What I would do, 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 proposed on "Sunday Morning Futures."
When asked how long he would wait before taking this step, Graham replied, "Days, not weeks."
Graham justified this by claiming that Pelosi was engaging in a "political stunt" by holding off on sending the impeachment articles to the Senate, weeks after they were approved by a House vote. He said McConnell would not let her dictate how events unfold.
"Well, we’re not going to let Nancy Pelosi use the rules of the Senate to her advantage. This is dangerous to the presidency as an institution," Graham said. "They impeached the president, but the speaker of the House is holding the articles back, trying to extort from the majority leader of the Senate a trial to her liking. They’re trying to hold these articles over the head of the president."
NBC News also had the following to say:
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday that if the House doesn't submit articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate this week, he will seek to change the impeachment rules so the Senate can proceed to a trial without them.
Speaking on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures," Graham said: "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," he continued, adding, "My goal is to start this trial in the next coming days, not let [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi take over the Senate."
Changing such rules would require a simple 51-vote majority.
Graham's comments came as Congress readies to bring the impasse over the next steps in Trump's impeachment back to the forefront.
The House last month passed two articles of impeachment against the president, alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Pelosi, D-Calif., has said she is waiting to see what trial process the Senate settles on before she transmits the articles. Currently, no trial can begin until the articles come through.