On January 13, then-President Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for a historic second time after his constant lies that the 2020 presidential election was stolen by Democrats prompted a mob of pro-Trump extremists to storm the Capitol in a deadly failed insurrection.
On Wednesday, House impeachment managers argued before the Senate that Trump's months-long campaign against the integrity of U.S. elections—including a speech delivered just minutes before the riots, in which he told his supporters to "fight" for him—amounted to the incitement of an insurrection.
Over the course of six hours on their first day of opening arguments, the impeachment managers laid out an effective and often disturbing case, using previously unreleased security camera footage to show how close the rioters came to the lawmakers they were targeting, as well as a minute-by-minute breakdown of Trump's initial refusal to urge his supporters to retreat.
According to reporters in the chamber during the trial, a number of Senators were visibly shaken by the managers' arguments.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)—a devout supporter of the former President—is apparently not one of those Senators.
On Wednesday night, Graham appeared on Fox News where he proceeded to call the harrowing arguments by the House impeachment managers "offensive and absurd."
Lindsey Graham claims the not guilty vote is growing and says he thinks most Republicans found the presentation by… https://t.co/lrrseEPdH8— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn Torabi) 1613011097.0
He then balked at Democrats for supposedly not taking enough action when he was the target of protests, saying:
"We all know what happened at the Capitol was terrible. I hope everybody involved that broke into the Capitol goes to jail, but I don't remember any of these House managers saying a damn thing when they were trying to break into my house and going after Susan Collins and spitting on all of us."
Graham was apparently alluding to last September, when protesters mobilized after he came out in support of a quick replacement of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, despite the presidential election being only weeks away.
This was a reversal of Graham's position when the late Justice Antonin Scalia died. Then-Senate Judiciary Committee chair Graham refused to hold a hearing for then-President Obama's nominee to replace Scalia, Judge Merrick Garland. The reason Graham gave was that it was too close to the 2016 presidential election, which was just under a year away.
To call out this hypocrisy, protesters gathered outside of Graham's home where they banged pots and pans, blared his original comments regarding Obama's Supreme Court nomination, and attempted to knock on his door. Unlike the Capitol riots, there were no fatalities, no recorded property damages, and no arrests.
Not to mention, the protesters were not incited by the President of the United States.
A spokesman for Graham at the time told reporters that the Senator wasn't even home during the protests.
People found Graham's false equivalence even more "offensive and absurd" than he claimed the impeachment arguments were.
Lindsey Graham is offensive and absurd. https://t.co/sHRR6ixnus— Miranda Yaver, PhD (@Miranda Yaver, PhD) 1613011460.0
Lindsey Graham is offensive and absurd... I can no longer watch interview segments of GOP with audio on... my BP j… https://t.co/uNWWzupQjA— AliciaCtheWorld (@AliciaCtheWorld) 1613038080.0
@Acyn The comparisons he is trying to make in this video are pure stupidness. I hate him.— Jess Balzer (@Jess Balzer) 1613011373.0
@Acyn It's just so laughable. There is absolutely nothing that happened last summer that compares to Jan. 6. Nothing.— MC (@MC) 1613011343.0
Graham's words were decried by Twitter as a symbol of the GOP's unwillingness to hold itself accountable for amplifying the election lies that led to the deadly riot.
If there’s one thing Senate Republicans are personally familiar with, it’s absurdity. Makes sense they’d recognize… https://t.co/XUyDXlQxiI— Matthew Daley (@Matthew Daley) 1613011561.0
Republicans make no sense. They’ve convinced themselves that these folks weren’t trying to kill them too. If that w… https://t.co/dx458sZh8y— Justin Zimmerman (@Justin Zimmerman) 1613052768.0
Stop expecting something different. This is who the Republicans are. They choose trump over country. https://t.co/fbaINrB90F— sհαɾօղ Wᴀɴᴛs Tʀᴜᴍᴘ Cᴏɴᴠɪᴄᴛᴇᴅ 🥳🎉🎊 😷 (@sհαɾօղ Wᴀɴᴛs Tʀᴜᴍᴘ Cᴏɴᴠɪᴄᴛᴇᴅ 🥳🎉🎊 😷) 1613028064.0
It’s only offensive to the Republicans. They don’t want to admit they backed & enabled the monster who sent people… https://t.co/seNvDwBYe9— Lisa Wetzelberger (@Lisa Wetzelberger) 1613011448.0
Don’t underestimate the depravity of the @SenateGOP. Not only will they acquit Trump but they will also happily dra… https://t.co/Wq2bhrsQds— Kim (@Kim) 1613012461.0
Though the 17 Republicans needed to vote in favor of Trump's conviction almost certainly won't materialize, it remains to be seen whether Graham is correct that the "not guilty" vote is growing.