Amid Trump impeachment deadlock, Senate pushes forward with ‘ordinary business’

U.S. senators, who had expected just weeks ago to be turning their attention to an impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, will kick off the week focusing on “ordinary business,” with lawmakers still at loggerheads over trial rules.

Democrats have been pressing for witnesses to be called, but Trump’s fellow Republicans have held firm that any decision on testimony must wait until after opening statements are heard.

Complicating the calculus, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi – the top Democrat in Congress – has yet to send the House-approved impeachment articles to the Senate, putting a question mark over the schedule for a trial and buying time for Democrats to try to build the case for witnesses.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who Pelosi accuses of carrying water for the president, has said a trial cannot begin until the charges are formally sent to the chamber, although another senior Republican called on Sunday for the rules to be changed if Pelosi does not act soon.

“We’re not going to let Nancy Pelosi use the rules of the Senate to her advantage,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, told Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

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