Graham Against Calling Witnesses, Says Impeachment Trial Would Last Months
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 26: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) leaves the floor of the Senate following a vote on January 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. Today senators will be sworn in as the jury for the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. Senate President pro tempore Patrick Leahy (D-VT) will preside over the trial in place of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Friday that he was against calling witnesses in the forthcoming impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, saying that doing so would open the door to extending the trial for months.

“The House impeached President Trump without a witness. If we open the witness door in the Senate there will be lots of witnesses requested on a variety of topics. And the trial will go for months, not days,” tweeted Graham.

The South Carolina lawmaker’s tweet was issued in response to a Yahoo News report that claimed Jacob Chansley, the man photographed in the Capitol building while wearing a fur hat and face paint, was willing to testify against the president. Graham said calling the man as a witness in the trial would turn it all into a “complete circus.”

Chansley’s lawyer told The Associated Press that his client used to be “smitten” by Trump, but now felt “betrayed” by him because he wasn’t given a pardon before Trump left office.

Earlier this week, law enforcement officials said they had identified 400 suspects in the Capitol riot and charged 135 of them with crimes. DOJ officials have been looking into the possibility of charging some of the suspects with criminal conspiracy and sedition.

Over in the Senate, lawmakers will soon be tasked with deciding whether Trump should be found guilty on one article of impeachment: incitement of insurrection. Forty-five Republican lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to dismiss the charge, including Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) who has argued the Senate can’t try a president who has left office.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has vowed to move forward: “Make no mistake: There will be a full and fair trial on convicting Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors. He is charged with inciting an insurrection. The evidence against him will be presented in living color for the nation and every one of us to see.”

Two lawmakers, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), have floated the idea of holding a vote to censure Trump, a vote that Collins has suggested could take the place of an impeachment trial. The idea doesn’t seem to have caught on.

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