Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Wednesday invoked a new GOP favorite line for guarding the President he has cozied up to for close to four years against impeachment — the need for “calm” amid chaos that President Donald Trump and his enablers in Congress are responsible for creating.
A week after Trump incited his followers to descend on the U.S. Capitol in a violent insurrection that trampled on democracy and left five dead and many more injured, the South Carolina lawmaker rebuffed calls for the inciter-in-chief to be impeached for his offenses. In a statement issued Wednesday, Graham appeared to suggest the move, above others, would be the nation’s undoing.
“Supporting the impeachment of President Trump under these circumstances will do great damage to the institutions of government and could inviter further violence,” Graham wrote.
“The individuals who participated in the storming of the Capitol should be met with the full force of the law. They should and will be held accountable,” he added.
As Graham appeared to support an effort to bring those who stormed the Capitol to justice, he willfully omitted accountability for himself, President Trump and the many other Republicans who participated in a scheme to overturn the presidential election by advancing bogus conspiracies that fueled the rage and subsequent violence of Trump’s mob.
Graham has taken an active role in supporting Trump’s efforts to subvert the election by fanning the flame of falsehood even after President-elect Joe Biden nailed a decisive electoral victory.
In November, Graham reportedly pressed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to discard ballots in his state after Biden won the state by a narrow margin.
The South Carolina lawmaker met the fairly low bar of ultimately rejecting efforts to object to Electoral College votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania last week, but a week later all appeared forgiven as he joined the president aboard Air Force One on a trip to Texas.
Rather than admonishing the President, Graham’s Wednesday statement pointed fingers at the more than 200 House Democrats and a growing number of House Republicans who have urged colleagues make a “vote of conscience” in favor of Trump’s impeachment.
“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 wrote.
The senator even made attempts at repairing a facade of Trump as a conciliatory force amid the division he had caused — suggesting in the statement Wednesday that impeachment was untimely as Trump is now “calling for calm.”
But Trump hasn’t done much to encourage calm. In fact, he doubled down on remarks he made at the rally last week that incited a mob of his supporters to attack the Capitol, telling reporters on Tuesday that the remarks he made at the rally were “totally appropriate.”
In the era of Graham and like-minded Trump enablers, it seems it has become a wildly courageous act to choose the truth over falsehood.
Read Graham’s full statement below:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the latest developments in efforts to impeach President Trump.“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. If there was a time for America’s political leaders to bend a knee and ask for God’s counsel and guidance, it is now. The most important thing for leaders to do in times of crisis is to make things better, not worse.
“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. The President, who will be leaving office in less than a week, has committed to an orderly transfer of power, encouraging calm and rejecting violence.
“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. As to Senate leadership, I fear they are making the problem worse, not better.
“The last thing the country needs is an impeachment trial of a president who is leaving office in one week.
“Democrats have already impeached the President once over a matter which was not worthy of that process. Now they seek to do it again, believing that this effort will wash for history the fact that the first impeachment was based on the thinnest of pretenses: a phone call with the leader of Ukraine. Impeachment should never be a ‘do-over,’ but that is what Democrats are seeking to do today.
“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 millions who have supported President Trump and his agenda should not be demonized because of the despicable actions of a seditious mob. The individuals who participated in the storming of the Capitol should be met with the full force of the law. They should and will be held accountable.”