South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday that House Democrats are treading dangerous waters by holding off on submitting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate.
“What they’re proposing, to not send the articles for disposition to the Senate after being passed in the House, is incredibly dangerous,” Graham, a Republican, said Thursday.
“Just think for a moment, you pass articles of impeachment in the House, you refuse to send them to the Senate until the Senate constructs a trial of your liking as speaker of the House,” Graham said in reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who floated the possibility of holding up the impeachment process Wednesday evening until she is assured a fair trial in the Senate. (RELATED: Pelosi Won’t Rule Out Withholding Articles Of Impeachment Until Democrats Get A ‘Fair’ Trial In The Senate)
“This is a land — uncharted waters, constitutionally,” Graham said, according to CNN. “I just know this, that this matters to the future of the country. We cannot have a system where the House impeaches the president, tells the Senate how to conduct the trial, holds the articles of impeachment over the president’s head at a time of their choosing to unleash them.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has drawn the ire of Democrats for saying Tuesday that he was “not impartial” about Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate.
“I’m not an impartial juror,” McConnell said. “This is a political process. There is not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision.”
Pelosi called McConnell a “rogue leader in the Senate” during her weekly news conference Thursday in which she clarified her concerns over having a fair trial in the Senate.
“The next thing for us will be when we see the process that is set forth in the Senate, then we’ll know the number of managers that we may have to go forward and who we will choose,” Pelosi said. “That’s what I said last night. That’s what I’m saying now.”
House Majority Whip James Clyburn said on CNN Thursday it was possible that Democrats may never transmit articles of impeachment against Trump to the Senate.
Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, said Democrats will wait “as long as it takes. Even if [McConnell] doesn’t come around to committing to a fair trial, keep those articles here. So keep it as long as it takes.”
McConnell called Democrats’ strategy of holding up the Senate trial “comical” Thursday.
“The prosecutors are getting cold feet in front of the entire country and second-guessing whether they even want to go to trial,” McConnell said. “They said impeachment was so urgent that it could not even wait for due process but now they’re content to sit on their hands. It is comical.”
“It’s beyond me how the Speaker and Democratic leader in the Senate think withholding the articles of impeachment and not sending them over gives them leverage, is beyond me,” he added. “Frankly, I’m not anxious to have the trial. If she thinks her case is so weak she doesn’t want to send it over, throw me into that briar patch.”
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