Lindsey Graham says 'Not Guilty' votes for Trump growing after each trial session: 'It’ll be over by Sunday'
'I think most Republicans found the presentation by the House managers offensive and absurd'
Sen. Lindsey Graham claimed Wednesday night that the number of "not guilty" votes was "growing" in the impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump. The Republican Senator's remarks came shortly after Democratic House impeachment managers played disturbing video footage from the violent riots that broke out at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. “This thing is collapsing before their eyes, and the not-guilty vote is growing, so it’ll be over by Sunday, I hope, for the good of the country," Graham told Fox News's Sean Hannity on Wednesday night.
"The not-guilty vote is growing after today," he added. "I think most Republicans found the presentation by the House managers offensive and absurd. We all know what happened at the Capitol was terrible. I hope everybody involved that broke into the Capitol goes to jail, but I don’t remember any of these House managers saying a damn thing when they were trying to break into my house and going after Susan Collins and spitting on all of us.”
The South Carolina Republican was referring to a September incident that saw dozens of protesters create a ruckus outside his Washington, D.C. home to "wake him up" in the middle of the night. Graham also mentioned threats levied against Sen. Susan Collins during the 2018 confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the Washington Examiner reported. Trump's impeachment trial began Tuesday after the House of Representatives charged him with incitement of the January 6 Capitol riots that claimed the lives of five people, including one police officer.
Impeachment managers on Wednesday presented an edited compilation of videos from the attack, including disturbing bodycam footage of officers being assaulted in doorways. "It was obviously very troubling to see the great violence that our Capitol Police and others were subjected to,” Trump critic Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said after watching the presentation. “It tears at your heart and brings tears to your eyes. That was overwhelmingly distressing and emotional."
However, Graham insisted that the trial's "evidence" was inconsequential, according to the Examiner.
"The managers have got this cockamamie idea, absurd theory, that Donald Trump is monitoring the Proud Boys website and other far-right websites and that he and [Trump campaign manager] Dan Scavino knew this was gonna happen and they encouraged it," he told Hannity. "That is Looney Toons ... because if the president didn’t know and it was actually preplanned, he’s not guilty."
Graham proceeded to target Vice President Kamala Harris for her remarks during the riots that followed the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. “If this is a problem for a politician to give a speech like President Trump did, then Kamala Harris is a real problem because she actively engaged in bailing out rioters," he said. "And here’s what I’d suggest: If you’re a politician trying to raise bail for people accused of rioting, you’re inciting more riots. But here’s something nobody’s talked about that’s important. If there was preplanning, there’s no incitement.”
Harris faced backlash after the Minnesota Freedom Fund -- which helped release suspected rioters -- bailed out a man who had allegedly raped a child. According to the Examiner, the fund was also responsible for the release of six men charged with serial domestic abuse crimes.