Lindsey Graham flays Democrats over Donald Trump's impeachment, says party knows it will 'blow up in their face'
The SC senator joined his colleagues in the chamber to speak out against the procedure, saying the Democratic senators were afraid of the party's left wing
The Democratic-controlled House impeached former president Donald Trump for the second time on January 13 on charges of inciting insurrection at the Capitol a week before when supporters of the Republican stormed the seat of the Congress to protest the victory of President Joe Biden in the election last November. The impeachment procedure was backed by a number of GOP members in the House and the Democrats are hopeful that the Senate will also take a similar step against the maverick ex-commander-in-chief.
But it seems a number of Republican senators are opposed to the idea of impeaching the 45th president that could result in barring him from holding a public office in future. Mitch McConnell, who was the majority leader in the chamber in times of Trump’s presidency, succeeded in deferring the procedure till the latter’s term got over and now, a number of top GOP leaders in the Senate have refused to go after Trump.
On Tuesday, January 26, a majority of GOP members voted suggesting Trump’s second impeachment trial is unconstitutional and it is a sign that the former president is likely to be acquitted in the upcoming trial which is due to begin in the second week of February. The Senate had acquitted Trump in February 2020 after the House impeached him on charges of abuse of power and obstructing the Congress.
On January 26, Senator Lindsey Graham, who has shown oscillating views on Trump in recent times, lashed out at the impeachment trial against Trump while speaking on Fox News. The South Carolina senator, who felt the impeachment trial was "unconstitutional and ill-conceived", told host Sean Hannity that even some Democratic members of the Senate are not happy with the idea as they can perceive the political repercussions of the effort which is being pushed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“There’s more than a handful of Democrats praying that [President] Joe Biden will get on the phone and call [Senate Democratic Leader Chuck] Schumer and say it’s over because they understand this is going to blow up in their face politically,” Graham, 65, said.
Pelosi on Monday, January 25, sent the article of impeachment against Trump to the Senate.
Graham, who recently called Trump "the most important figure in the GOP" and requested him against pardoning the January 6 rioters at the Capitol, said the party is largely united against the impeachment despite the recent remarks made by McConnell. The top GOP senator said in the wake of the Capitol riots that he believed Trump had “provoked” the protesters to carry out the attacks and privately expressed his pleasure that the Democrats had initiated the process. He, however, blocked a quick Senate impeachment trial.
Following a recent meeting with McConnell, Graham said he had “never felt better about the Republican Senate conference being united behind the idea that what the House did was wrong in terms of process.”
Graham had initially distanced himself from the former president in the wake of the Capitol violence but he has also been vocal against any impeachment effort and cautioned that it could incite further violence. Five people, including one policeman, died in the January 6 clashes while the lawmakers ran for cover.
'Democrats are in a box'
According to Graham, the Democrats have found themselves “in a box”. “The second impeachment of Donald Trump is not wearing well over time. Democrats are in a box. They started this thing in the House, they impeached the president of the United States in Nancy Pelosi’s House in less than 50 hours from bringing it up to conclusion, without a lawyer, not one witness was called,” Graham said.
He predicted that the upper chamber will “have an overwhelmingly Republican vote that this second impeachment of Donald Trump is unconstitutional.”
The former Senate Judiciary Committee said there were no clips showing Trump incited his supporters and alleged that the Democratic senators were afraid of their own party’s left wing.
Graham slams Biden
Graham also took on President Biden during the talks saying while the latter talked about uniting the country, he was sitting on the sidelines when it came to impeaching a former president. “He’s been a huge disappointment,” he said.
On January 25, Biden spoke on Trump’s impeachment and told CNN that “it has to happen”. In an one-on-one interview with the network in the halls of the West Wing, Biden acknowledged the effect the process could have on his legislative agenda and Cabinet picks but added that a worse effect could be seen if it didn’t happen. He also said that the outcome would be different if Trump had six months left in office and that he didn’t think that 17 Republican senators would vote to convict his predecessor.