Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tried to defend Trump on impeachment but ended up arguing that he should be charged with a crime.
Video of Graham:
Sen. Lindsey Graham tries to attack impeachment but somehow ends up arguing that Trump should be charged with a crime. pic.twitter.com/o5pOlFou9y
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) February 7, 2021
Transcript of Graham on CBS’s Face The Nation:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, the trial memorandum from the–
SEN. GRAHAM: The president said at the rally I think was–
MARGARET BRENNAN: The trial memorandum from the House impeachment managers actually lays out a pattern of behavior. They say it wasn’t just the speech. They say this was cultivated over time.
SEN. GRAHAM: Yeah, well, here’s what I would say, that if you believe you committed a crime, he can be prosecuted like any other citizen. Impeachment is a political process. We’ve never impeached a president once they’re out of office. I think this is a very bad idea. Forty-five plus Republicans are going to vote early on that it’s unconstitutional. It’s not a question of how the trial ends. It’s a question of when it ends. Republicans are going to view this as an unconstitutional exercise. And the only question is, will they call witnesses? How long does the trial take? But the outcome is really not in doubt. That doesn’t mean what happened on January the 6th was okay. It means this impeachment, in the eyes of most Republicans, is an unconstitutional exercise.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
SEN. GRAHAM: The president’s behavior, in my view, is not a crime, but he can be charged with one if people think he committed it because he’s now a private citizen.
Sen. Graham said that he didn’t think that Trump’s behavior was criminal, but then he goes on to say that Trump is a private citizen who could be charged with a crime.
How does charging Trump with a crime fit into acquitting him at the impeachment trial? The fact that Trump potentially committed a crime supports the case for convicting him.
Republicans want to debate Trump’s actions based on the constitutionality of impeachment, but every time that they wade into the process argument, they end providing more justification for convicting Trump. A majority of Americans want Trump to be convicted and barred from holding federal office.
Lindsey Graham’s argument was nonsensical and strengthened the case for Donald Trump being charged with a crime.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association