Lindsey Graham, who denounced Trump after the Capitol siege, opposes impeachment and implies Mitch McConnell is 'making the problem worse'
- Republican Sen.
Lindsey Grahamcriticized the House impeachmentefforts on Wednesday and appeared to criticize Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
- "It is a rushed process that, over time, will become a threat to future presidents," Graham said in a statement. "As to Senate leadership, I fear they are making the problem worse, not better."
- Graham broke from President
Donald Trumpand firmly acknowledged on the Senate floor last week that President-elect Joe Biden won the 2020 race.
- But on Tuesday, Graham accompanied Trump on Air Force One for a visit to Alamo, Texas.
- "The last thing the country needs is an impeachment trial of a president who is leaving office in one week," Graham said on Wednesday, adding that Trump was "calling for calm."
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham blasted the House impeachment effort against President Donald Trump on Wednesday and appeared to slight Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his rumored support of the process.
"The House impeachment process seeks to legitimize a snap impeachment totally void of due process. No hearings. No witnesses. It is a rushed process that, over time, will become a threat to future presidents," Graham said in a statement. "As to Senate leadership, I fear they are making the problem worse, not better."Though Graham did not mention McConnell by name, The New York Times reported on Tuesday night that the GOP leader was said to be "pleased" with the impeachment proceedings. A source close to McConnell told Axios he was considering voting to convict Trump in an impeachment trial. CNN also confirmed McConnell's thinking on Wednesday, reporting that the Senate leader wanted a "clean break" from Trump, "hates" the president over his response to the deadly riot last week, and the two hadn't spoken in weeks.
Multiple news outlets reported that McConnell sent a letter to GOP senators on Wednesday afternoon saying he was undecided over impeachment and intended "to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate." The Republican leader has announced that the Senate will not reconvene until January 19, meaning any impeachment trial will likely take place after Trump leaves office.So far, a handful of House Republicans have said they will vote "yes" on impeachment, making it a bipartisan effort. The House vote is expected to take place Wednesday afternoon, and it remains to be seen whether more GOP members will vote in favor of impeachment. Either way, the House has secured enough support to impeach Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection. He will become the first president in US history to be impeached twice.
"To my Republican colleagues who legitimize this process, you are doing great damage not only to the country, the future of the presidency, but also to the party," Graham said on Wednesday.The impeachment proceedings come a week after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol and forced
The next day, Graham reiterated his stance and took his comments further, specifically calling out Trump for his role in the attempted coup and urging him to take responsibility.
"When it comes to accountability, the president needs to understand that his actions were the problem, not the solution," Graham said Thursday. He also suggested that his relationship with Trump had come to an end.But on Tuesday, their alliance didn't appear to be completely over, as Graham accompanied Trump on Air Force One for a trip to Alamo, Texas, where the president hailed the 450-mile wall built at the US-Mexico border. (The border spans roughly 2,000 miles.) A spokesperson for Graham told Insider the two discussed "border security and immigration issues."
Graham continued to backtrack on Wednesday and defended the president.
"The last thing the country needs is an impeachment trial of a president who is leaving office in one week," he said, adding that Trump was now "calling for calm."On Tuesday, Trump described his behavior before the riot as "totally appropriate."