Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) called out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) after the impeachment trial votes last Saturday. McConnell said that despite his belief that former President Donald Trump is responsible for provoking the January 6 Capitol riots, the trial is unconstitutional.
Acquittal from the Charge
Ultimately, the Senate voted to acquit Trump 57-43. Despite the ‘guilty” votes leading at 57, a conviction needs a two-thirds majority win to win. Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy (VT) presided over the trial. With the lack of majority votes, he announced the vote fell short of the needed majority, acquitting him from the charge. This means that the former president can now explore the possibility of another White House bid in 2024. Consequently, Democrat senators hinted they may mount additional efforts to bar him from office.
McConnell Defends His Vote
“President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president. And having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories, and reckless hyperbole which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet Earth,” McConnell said about Trump.
“These criminals were carrying his banners. Hanging his flags and screaming their loyalty to him. It was obvious that only President Trump could end this… Former aides publicly begged him to do so. Loyal allies frantically called the administration. The president did not act swiftly. He did not do his job… Instead according to public reports he watched television happily as the chaos unfolded, kept pressing his scheme to overturn the election,” he added. However, McConnell said the Senate cannot convict Trump because of the Constitution’s constraints.
Lindsey Graham Takes A Swipe
Senator Lindsey Graham said that Democrats might use McConnell’s words uttered after the trial. The South Carolina senator thinks that these words will come back to haunt the party in 2022 when the GOP will try to retake Congress. “I think Sen. McConnell's speech, he got a load off his chest, obviously, but unfortunately he put a load on the back of Republicans. That speech you will see in 2022 campaigns,” he said.
Graham said Republican candidates running in states like Arizona and Georgia are key in taking back the Senate majority. However, Mc Connell’s speech will probably surface during the campaign. The media will likely ask GOP candidates whether they support McConnell. While he said that even if Trump had pushed “narratives about the election that I think is not sound and not true,” he does not believe the former president is guilty.
Excited for 2022
Graham said McConnell’s remarks are an “outlier” when it comes to the party’s feelings about Trump's latest impeachment. Graham said he spoke with the former president, and while he’s upset with some party members, he’s excited about 2022. He said Trump looks forward to helping rebuild the Republican Party in time for the midterm elections in 2022.
Also, Graham said he believed the impeachment set a dangerous precedent. “I don't know how Kamala Harris doesn't get impeached if the Republicans take over the House, because she actually bailed out rioters, and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody's head open. So we've opened Pandora's box here, and I'm sad for the country,” Graham said.
Watch the Fox News Sunday video where Senator Lindsey Graham says that the Senate impeachment trial ‘opened Pandora's box':
Do you agree with Senator Lindsey Graham’s assertion that Senator McConnell’s words can come back and haunt the GOP in 2022? Let us know what you think about the ramifications of McConnell’s words. Share your thoughts in the comment sections below.
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