Senate

Graham pushes Schumer for vote to dismiss impeachment article

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is urging incoming Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to hold a vote to dismiss the article of impeachment against President Trump passed by the House last week. 

Graham wrote in a letter to Schumer on Sunday that the New York Democrat is seeking "vengeance and political retaliation" in his first act as majority leader instead of beginning "national healing."

"While the Vice President and Senate Republicans rejected unconstitutional actions, you seek to force upon the Senate, what would itself be but one more unconstitutional action in this disgraceful saga-the impeachment trial of a former president," Graham added.

House Democrats introduced and the passed one article of impeachment against Trump for "inciting insurrection" after a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and members of her caucus have said it is imperative that Trump, who will leave office on Wednesday when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in, be convicted in the Senate because he remains a threat to the country. 

Most Republicans on Capitol Hill have argued impeaching and convicting Trump following a Senate trial would only further divide the country during a time of increased threats of political violence in Washington, D.C., and around the country. 

"The impeachment power exists to protect the Nation from the harm that an incumbent president might inflict upon the Nation were he to remain in office, not to vindicate political grievances after a president has left office," Graham said in his letter to Schumer on Sunday. 

Current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has reportedly expressed a willingness to hold an impeachment trial in the Senate even after Trump leaves office. 

Other Senate Republicans have echoed that sentiment.

"The attack on the U.S. Capitol was an attack on democracy itself, and the president bears some responsibility for what occurred. ... If the Senate proceeds with an impeachment trial, I will do my duty as a juror and listen to the cases presented by both sides," Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said

Graham, who had backed Trump's unproven claims of a "stolen" election, said he would not stand in the way of certification of Biden's Electoral College victory following rioting at the Capitol. 

"Trump and I, we had a hell of a journey," Graham said that evening. "I hate it being this way. Oh, my God. I hate it ... but today all I can say is count me out. Enough is enough. I tried to be helpful."  

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