Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham rebuked members of his party who plan on supporting the second impeachment of President Trump.
Graham, who has been one of the president’s closest allies in the Senate, released a statement on Wednesday morning condemning the effort to impeach the president for what Democrats and some Republicans say was his role in inciting a riot at the Capitol last week.
“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,” the South Carolina senator said just hours before the House is set to vote on whether to make Trump the first president to be impeached twice. “The millions who have supported President Trump and his agenda should not be demonized because of the despicable actions of a seditious mob.”
Graham also took a shot at the party’s Senate leadership, saying, “I fear they are making the problem worse, not better.”
Recent reports said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has privately signaled support for impeachment and that he has told associates he believes the process could provide the party a convenient opportunity to detach itself from the president.
“Supporting the impeachment of President Trump under these circumstances will do great damage to the institutions of government and could invite further violence at a time the President is calling for calm,” Graham wrote. “The process being used in the House to impeach President Trump is an affront to any concept of due process and will further divide the country.”
In the House, more than 180 Democrats and five Republicans have announced that they support this impeachment.
Convicting Trump in the Senate requires a two-thirds vote, or 67 senators. If the Senate does convict him before Inauguration Day, he will become the first president to be removed from office in United States history.
“This president has been consequential from a conservative point of view. It’s been an amazing four years in terms of judges, securing the border, a vaccine in record time, deregulating the economy, cutting taxes, historic Mideast peace agreements, the destruction of the caliphate — on and on and on — was tarnished by yesterday,” Graham said in a press conference last week.