Graham: Pelosi withholding impeachment articles would amount to 'Constitutional extortion'

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMcCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral Mayorkas tests positive for COVID-19 breakthrough case A pandemic of hyper-hypocrisy is infecting American politics MORE (R-S.C.) on Thursday said that House Democrats would be committing "Constitutional extortion" if they did not allow the Senate to promptly act on approved articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE.

Following the House votes to impeach the president on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats scramble to reach deal on taxes On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Key CDC panel backs Moderna, J&J boosters MORE (D-Calif.) declined to say when, or even if, the lower chamber would deliver the articles to the Senate.

The move has prompted considerable outrage from Republican senators. Graham, an outspoken Trump ally, said in a series of tweets that a refusal to turn over the articles would represent a "breathtaking violation of the Constitution."


"Not allowing the Senate to act on approved Articles of Impeachment becomes Constitutional extortion and creates chaos for the presidency," he added in a separate tweet. "It also sets in motion a tremendous threat to our Constitutional system of checks and balances."

He then concluded by arguing that Pelosi's delayed decisionmaking signaled how "very WEAK" Democrats' case against the president is. 


The House voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday night, making him just the third president in U.S. history to face removal from the Senate. The step sets up a Senate trial over the abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges Trump is facing. 

Pelosi said that Democratic leadership needed to "see what the process is on the Senate side" before delivering the impeachment articles or naming impeachment managers to prosecute the case.

“And I would hope that that would be soon. So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us," she added. 

Republicans such as Graham and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats MORE (R-Ky.) have continually expressed disdain about the House impeachment proceedings. McConnell said last week that he wasn't "impartial about this at all." Graham, meanwhile, has pledged to help impeachment "die quickly" when it reaches the upper chamber.

Pelosi is expected to meet with Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSchumer endorses democratic socialist India Walton in Buffalo mayor's race Guns Down America's leader says Biden 'has simply not done enough' on gun control The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Manchin heatedly dismisses rumors of leaving Democratic Party MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday to discuss strategy for the impeachment trial and how they should proceed with the impeachment articles.

Some Democrats have urged the Speaker to consider holding the articles as part of an effort to gain concessions, such as additional witnesses and documents, for the trial.