OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Even though some establishment Republicans have sided with Democrats in their support of an impeachment effort against former President Donald Trump, plenty of other GOP leaders are vehemently opposed to the idea.
In fact, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham recently told Fox News host Sean Hannity that even some Senate Democrats are souring on the idea based on its perceived political downsides to the effort pushed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“There’s more than a handful of Democrats praying that [President] Joe Biden will get on the phone and call [Senate Democratic Leader Chuck] Schumer and say it’s over because they understand this is going to blow up in their face politically,” he said.
The South Carolina Republican insisted that his party is largely united against the impeachment effort despite recent remarks by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the chamber’s top Republican.
In the wake of a deadly Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill, McConnell said that he believed Trump had “provoked” protesters to storm the Capitol building, implying that he believed the then-president’s rhetoric constituted impeachable acts.
Following a recent meeting with the GOP leader, however, Graham declared that he had “never felt better about the Republican Senate conference being united behind the idea that what the House did was wrong in terms of process.”
While Graham had initially distanced himself from Trump in the immediate aftermath of the riot, he has since been vocal in his opposition to the impeachment effort.
“The second impeachment of Donald Trump is not wearing well over time,” he said. “Democrats are in a box. They started this thing in the House, they impeached the president of the United States in Nancy Pelosi’s House in less than 50 hours from bringing it up to conclusion, without a lawyer, not one witness was called.”
As a result, Graham predicted that the Senate will “have an overwhelmingly Republican vote that this second impeachment of Donald Trump in unconstitutional.”
McConnell has yet to determine how he will vote in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial, stating in a letter earlier this month that he intends to “listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”
His refusal to reveal his leanings and recent determination that Trump and “other powerful people” essentially “provoked” the January 6 mob have appeared to cause a bit of unease among Senate Republicans.
Graham, too, veered from his Senate colleague last week.
“I don’t agree with him,” Graham said of McConnell’s remarks. “That would be a crime, to provoke somebody, to incite them to violence. Show me the clip where he did that.”
While Graham praised McConnell as a “good leader” and “great street fighter,” he said that the Republican leader is “giving some legitimacy to this impeachment process,” which he said he believes is “wrong.”