Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has no intention to convict Donald Trump when the expected impeachment process reaches the U.S. Senate, saying that he will not “pretend to be a fair juror” in the matter.
Graham was once one of the most vocal critics of Donald Trump on the right during the 2016 presidential election, but since Trump’s election has become one of the president’s most fervent defenders. The South Carolina Republican has repeatedly attacked Democrats leading the impeachment hearings, claiming the process is unfair and that Trump did nothing wrong.
On Saturday, Graham made it clear that his mind is made up even before any of the evidence is presented — he will vote to acquit Trump.
“This thing will come to the Senate, and it will die quickly, and I will do everything I can to make it die quickly,” Graham said in an interview with CNN at the Doha Forum in Qatar.
The Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against Trump, which will now go to the full House for a vote. The articles are expected to pass with support from the Democratic majority, which would send Trump to the U.S. Senate for a trial that will decide if he is removed from office.
When Graham was asked if it were appropriate to so vocally share his thoughts when his role in the Senate is to be an impartial juror, Graham said he wants everyone to know where he stands.
“I am trying to give a pretty clear signal I have made up my mind. I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here,” Graham said. “What I see coming, happening today is just a partisan nonsense.”
Graham is not the first Republican to come under fire for signaling that they will acquit Trump. As The Inquisitr reported, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this week that he has been coordinating directly with the White House and that the position of Senate Republicans will be identical to the White House’s position. McConnell faced calls that he recuse himself from the likely trial for making it clear that he would not be impartial, but he has not responded.
The prospect of removing Trump from office remains small even if both McConnell and Graham were to recuse themselves. It takes a two-thirds majority to remove a president from office, meaning a significant number of Republicans would need to turn on Trump and buck the party’s position.