Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Wednesday that the Senate will start its impeachment proceedings next week, signaling an end to the stalemate over the articles which have sat in the House since December.
“Hats off to Mitch McConnell for playing this very well. We’ll take the trial up next week,” Graham said during an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity.
Graham argued that Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) “impeachment dam has broken,” pointing to growing calls from some Senate Democrats
for her to transmit the two articles of impeachment to the Senate.
“You said it was urgent; if you believe it to be urgent, send it to the Senate for disposition,” Graham said. “She’s losing Democrats in the Senate. The impeachment dam of Nancy Pelosi is about to crack.”
His comments come amid an impasse between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Pelosi about the impeachment trial.
Pelosi has not tipped her hand on when she will send the two articles, which cleared the House largely along party lines last month. In a “Dear Colleague” letter released Tuesday, she called on McConnell to release the resolution laying out the rules of the trial before she transmits the articles.
“It is important that he immediately publish this resolution, so that, as I have said before, we can see the arena in which we will be participating, appoint managers and transmit the articles to the Senate,” Pelosi wrote in her letter.
However, McConnell warned on Wednesday morning
that there would be “no haggling” with Pelosi over the impeachment trial. The GOP leader announced on Tuesday
that he had the 51 votes needed to establish the impeachment rules and delay a decision on calling witnesses until after opening arguments and questions from senators.
McConnell has not publicly indicated that he knows when Pelosi will send over the articles, but told reporters on Tuesday that he hopes she will send them this week. Democratic senators have also predicted that the issue will be resolved this week and that the impeachment trial will start soon.
“My intuition is that we’re going to be in an impeachment trial pretty soon,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told reporters on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Graham is preparing a resolution
, which could be introduced as soon as Thursday, urging Pelosi to transmit the articles “immediately.”
The resolution, according to a copy obtained by The Hill ahead of its release, calls Pelosi’s delay a “flagrant violation of the separation of powers” and a “gross infringement on the constitutional authority of the Senate.”