In a letter to incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Sunday, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) laid out an appeal for how to best heal the nation.
Graham called on Schumer to encourage the Senate to hold a vote dismissing the article of impeachment against President Trump, arguing that the world — and history — will remember how the United States Senate responds to this moment.
Senator Graham called the impeachment of a former president “one more unconstitutional action in this disgraceful saga,” aligning the move with other unconstitutional efforts attempted by Democrats last week that were rejected by Senate Republicans and Vice President Mike Pence. Included in these actions was the Democratic leadership’s call for the vice president to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office without a vote or trial, which Pence rejected. The Democrat-led House voted to impeach the president Wednesday for allegedly “inciting violence against the government of the United States,” with ten Republicans joining the Democrats.
In his letter to Schumer, Graham declared that if the Senate were to use impeachment solely for the purpose of disqualification, this would be a violation of the role given to it by the Founders. “It cannot be that the Framers intended to empower Congress to disqualify any former officer it would like, whenever it would like, and with no investigation. And of course, they did not.” Graham added that the “disqualification” (from future elected office) aspect of impeachment is not reason itself to remove a president, and continuing with this process would be “unwise as it is unconstitutional.” He asserts that setting this precedent for any party in power to prevent a former president from being elected to future office would be a violation of the role of Congress.
My letter to Democratic Leader Schumer.
The Senate should vote to dismiss the article of impeachment once it is received in the Senate. We will be delaying indefinitely, if not forever, the healing of this great Nation if we do otherwise. pic.twitter.com/fjVcf7iVPf
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 17, 2021
Monday morning saw Twitter’s response to Graham’s letter in the hashtag #LindseyGrahamIsATraitor. “If Lindsey Graham were any more un-American, he’d be Trump,” wrote one user who joined the hashtag movement. Graham, wrote another, “should be expelled from the Senate.” Several users accused the Senator of unbridled allegiance to Trump. The day before his letter to Schumer, however, Graham delivered a stern message to the president, telling Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo that pardoning the rioters “would be wrong” and would “destroy” him.
In his letter, Graham explains that “the Trump Presidency is over in three days,” and that his reasoning for ending the impeachment trial is based on the Constitution, not on a specific presidency. Graham uses past administrations to make this point, asking, “Where does this all end? When Republicans in the 115th Congress had control of both chambers, should they have impeached and disqualified President Obama from future office for his handling of Benghazi?”
Graham argues that the use of impeachment for this end would be unconstitutional in any Congress and if used against any administration. Graham implores that in this first act as Majority Leader, Schumer is seeking “vengeance and political retaliation” instead of unity. The letter concludes with the claim that refusing to dismiss the article of impeachment will delay “the healing of this great Nation,” possibly forever.
Charlotte Pence Bond is an author, speaker, podcast host, and proud military spouse. She is a candidate for a Masters of Theological Studies degree at Harvard Divinity School, where her studies focus on religion, literature, and culture. She is the daughter of Vice President Mike Pence.
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