Graham: Senate Should Reject ‘Idea Of Pursuing Presidents After They Leave Office’
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 07: U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol January 7, 2021 in Washington, DC. Sen. Graham condemned the pro-Trump mob’s action of storming the Capitol the day before.
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Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) once again publicly pushed back on the impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump, saying that the U.S. Senate should “reject the idea of pursuing presidents after they leave office.”

Graham made the remarks Friday when outlining what he believes Trump’s legal strategy should be during the trial: “Post-presidential impeachment’s never occurred in the history of the country for a reason, that it’s unconstitutional, it sets a bad precedent for the presidency, and it continues to divide the nation.”

“On the facts, his speech is not incitement under the law. Bottom line is, you’ve got a very compelling constitutional case and, on the facts, they’ll be able to mount a defense,” he added. “The main thing is to give him a chance to prepare and run the trial orderly.”

Graham also rejected the idea of splitting the impeachment trial into half-days, which would effectively allow the Senate to pursue other business concurrent with the trial.

“We’re going to do it like we’ve always done it,” said Graham. “We’re not going to split the day. At least I wouldn’t. That’s the business of the Senate, once we go into it. They’re choosing to do this, we’re going to do it the way we’ve always done it.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced Friday evening that the impeachment trial would be ready to start the week of February 8, even though the impeachment managers will read the Article of Impeachment to the Senate Monday.

Schumer’s decision to delay the Senate trial came after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) argued that Trump’s legal team and the House impeachment managers should have more time rather than less to prepare arguments for the upcoming trial due to the “unprecedented speed” at which the whole process occurred.

After Schumer announced the pre-trial timeline on the Senate floor on Friday evening, Doug Andres, a spokesperson for McConnell, remarked: “Leader McConnell is glad that Leader Schumer agreed to Republicans’ request for additional time during the pre-trial phase. Especially given the fast and minimal process in the House, Republicans set out to ensure the Senate’s next steps will respect former President Trump’s rights and due process, the institution of the Senate, and the office of the presidency.”

“That goal has been achieved. This is a win for due process and fairness,” he added.

In order for Trump to be convicted of incitement of insurrection, 67 Senators will need to vote in favor of convicting him. According to a tracker at The Washington Post, forty-two senators — all Democrats or Independents who caucus with Democrats — have indicated they plan to convict Trump, and nineteen senators have indicated that they’re open to conviction. Another 11 senators have not made definitive statements on where they stand on conviction or have made no statements on the topic at all.

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