The Senate trial of the second impeachment of Donald Trump is set to begin Tuesday morning, and Senate Republicans are entering the fray confident that the former president will be acquitted in the sham proceedings.
Top Senate Republican Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on Sunday that the outcome of the trial is “really not in doubt” as it is unlikely that Democrats will convince enough Republicans to cross the aisle to convict Trump on the charges.
Graham himself hasn’t been a great defender of Trump in the aftermath of the January 6th riots, referring to the resulting uproar as a “self-inflicted wound,” but has denounced the impeachment as a partisan sham.
“It’s not a crime. I mean, the House is impeaching him under the theory that his speech created a riot,” Graham told CBS’s Margaret Brennan on Sunday. “When you look at the facts, many people had already planned the- to attack the Capitol before he ever spoke.”
Brennan mouthed the Democrat-perpetuated assertion that Trump’s rhetoric about election fraud and interference led some of his supporters to go rogue and assault the capitol, but Graham smacked it down.
“Yeah, well, here’s what I would say, that if you believe you committed a crime, he can be prosecuted like any other citizen,” Graham replied. “Impeachment is a political process. We’ve never impeached a president once they’re out of office,” adding that it’s a “very bad idea.”
“Forty-five plus Republicans are going to vote early on that it’s unconstitutional,” he explained, in reference to Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) resolution. “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.”
Graham pointed out that if there is a case against Trump, it’s not one that can be pursued through impeachment, since Trump is no longer a sitting president.
“He’s not in office. Impeachment for a president requires the chief justice to preside over the trial. He’s not at the trial because President Trump is not the president. So this is not process,” he said.
“The Constitution, I think, is being flagrantly violated because, when it comes to Trump, there seems to be no end to all of this. So, the trial is going to result in an acquittal.”