Sen. Lindsey Graham said if the Senate doesn’t dismiss the impeachment article against President Trump, national healing could be delayed “indefinitely.”
The South Carolina Republican urged Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who will soon become the majority leader, that a Senate trial for Trump’s second impeachment would be an “unconstitutional act of political vengeance.”
“In your first act as Majority Leader, rather than begin the national healing that the country so desperately yearns for, you seek vengeance and political retaliation instead,” Graham wrote in a letter sent Sunday.
Graham added that the impeachment of a president no longer in office will potentially leave the country eternally divided.
“We will be delaying indefinitely, if not forever, the healing of this great nation,” he said.
Other allies of Trump have echoed Graham’s calls that the second impeachment is “unconstitutional.”
Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who represented Trump in his first impeachment trial, told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday that there’s precedent to suggest a president shouldn’t be impeached once they leave office.
The Harvard Law professor cited there was no effort to impeach President Richard Nixon once he left office and a failed effort to remove the secretary of war in 1876. He claimed there is no jurisdiction to put Trump as a private citizen on trial.
“If you can impeach anyone who is not a sitting president, there are no limits to the power of the Congress to try ordinary citizens,” Dershowitz said. “It is plainly unconstitutional and the Senate should not proceed with this unconstitutional act.”
Dershowitz recently confirmed that he would not represent Trump in the second impeachment trial and chalked up the move as “political theater.” Dershowitz noted that he believed Trump committed a “political and moral sin” by provoking his supporters to breach the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Trump was impeached by the Democrat-controlled House last week over a charge of “incitement of insurrection.” Ten Republicans supported the effort, making him the first president to be impeached twice.
Trump was first impeached by the House in 2019 over two Ukraine-related charges but later acquitted by the GOP-led Senate.
If the Senate votes to convict Trump this time once he leaves office, he will likely not ever be able to hold any federal office in the future. Convicting the president will require a two-thirds vote, or 67 senators. The Senate will be split 50-50 with Democrats and the two independents who caucus with them having a tie-breaker in Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Trump will leave office on Wednesday and will be succeeded by President-elect Joe Biden. Trump has said he plans not to attend the inauguration.