On January 13, the House of Representatives impeached then-President Donald Trump for a second time, citing the election lies he'd spewed since November that prompted pro-Trump extremists to storm the United States Capitol in a deadly attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
With 10 House Republicans voting in favor, it's the most bipartisan presidential impeachment in American history.
Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate is set to begin next week, and Republican Senators are already going on the defensive for the former President. A recent motion by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) forced Senators to vote on the constitutionality of Trump's impeachment, with 45 out of 50 Republican Senators voting against it, signaling that a conviction for Trump is highly unlikely.
True to form, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)—who fully supported Trump's lies that the election was stolen and even personally intervened to try and overturn the results in a swing state Trump lost—appeared in a Fox News interview to decry Trump's second impeachment.
Lindsey Graham repeats his warning not to call witnesses during the trial. He says if Democrats vote to call a sing… https://t.co/PpWSE4a8qQ— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn Torabi) 1612226807.0
Speaking to former Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Graham said:
"If the House managers want to use this as a political commercial against Donald Trump and Republicans, if they want to call witnesses now—they didn't call during the impeachment process in the House—this thing could go for weeks or months and that would be bad for the country, so to my Democratic colleagues: if you vote to call one witness—none were called in the House—get ready for a long trial."
So far, many Democrats say that witnesses are unnecessary, as Trump's lies that Democrats stole the election are all on video, as are the riots at the Capitol. What's more, because the rioters were trying to upend the joint congressional session to certify President Joe Biden's election victory, lawmakers were present and bore personal witness to the calamity that day.
"If you open up that can of worms, we'll want the FBI to come in and tell us about how people pre-planned this attack and what happened with the security footprint at the Capitol."
In the weeks since the failed insurrection, the FBI has made dozens of arrests and their work is still unfinished.
With so many pro-Trump extremists arrested by the Bureau, people challenged Graham to come through on his threat, confident that the FBI's testimony would only further vindicate Democrats in their position that Trump was crucial to inciting the deadly coup attempt.
Absolutely bring in the FBI, Lindsey. Do it. Go ahead. https://t.co/JPAlyuKYLh— Patton Oswalt (@Patton Oswalt) 1612243265.0
Open Pandora's Box. Do it. Bring in the FBI, and prosecute everyone that participated in the insurrection. Leave no… https://t.co/rppbqie0Mn— Brian J. Karem (@Brian J. Karem) 1612233034.0
So Graham is trying to actively suppress testimony before the impeachment trial begins...go ahead, @LindseyGrahamSC… https://t.co/scthQtMDCU— Amee Vanderpool (@Amee Vanderpool) 1612234317.0
Lindsey's rationale here is that the FBI will show that many of the rioters planned and coordinated the attack... w… https://t.co/m3pXYnuTzy— Justin Baragona (@Justin Baragona) 1612228057.0
FBI? Ok. Sounds like a good plan to me. https://t.co/wnSQbIK6ra— Joyce Alene (@Joyce Alene) 1612232329.0
Yes Lindz.. let's do that. Let's call Dir. Wrey do he can say again under oath: "Racially-motivated violent extre… https://t.co/yIYL0b1pM2— Shannon in Ohio 4 (@Shannon in Ohio 4) 1612260494.0
Several Twitter users reminded their followers that Graham himself called Georgia's Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, and urged him to throw out millions of votes in a failed attempt to save Trump from the embarrassment of being the first Republican to lose Georgia's electoral votes since 1992.
Some said this was enough to compel Graham himself to testify.
Maybe Lindsey's worried Brad Raffensperger will testify under oath that Lindsey pressured him to toss out thousands… https://t.co/rlaU7JlGRu— Brian Beutler (@Brian Beutler) 1612280201.0
Good. While they’re in the Senate, the FBI can question Graham on his effort to push Raffensperger to throw out vot… https://t.co/wt9JuQ6PHl— Ahmed Baba (@Ahmed Baba) 1612228660.0
Lindsey may've forgotten how he pressured Raffensperger to throw out perfectly valid GA mail ballots? But I'm sur… https://t.co/kzYGdUBtvJ— Andrea Issa (@Andrea Issa) 1612243872.0
Only Trump's defense team and the House Impeachment Managers can decide which witnesses to call for the trial, but it's up to the Senate to vote whether or not to allow for witnesses in the first place.