After conservatives across social media were wondering when Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) would rise up in defense of President Donald Trump with the same furious force that he exhibited during the Brett Kavanaugh fiasco, the senator publicly declared on Tuesday that Trump was right to declare the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry a “lynching.”
“I think it’s pretty well accurate—this is a shame, this is a joke,” Graham told reporters. “This is a lynching in every sense. This is un-American. I’ve never seen a situation in my lifetime as a lawyer where somebody’s accused of a major misconduct who cannot confront the accusers, call witnesses on their behalf, and have the discussion in the light of day so the public can judge.”
Graham’s comments came in response to the president’s use of the word “lynching” in reference to the impeachment inquiry in a Twitter post on Tuesday, prompting outrage from Democrats, who were seemingly unaware of the fact that they used the exact same word in reference to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment during the late-90s.
“So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the president, without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” Trump said. “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!”
Democratic leadership immediately demanded an apology from the president.
“Thousands of African Americans were slaughtered during the lynching epidemic in this country for no reason other than the color of their skin,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) told reporters. “The president should not compare a constitutionally mandated impeachment inquiry to such a dangerous and dark chapter of American history. It’s irresponsible for him to do so and I hope that he will apologize.”
“I really believe this man is prone to inflammatory statements, and that is one word no president ought to apply to himself,” House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) said. “I’ve studied presidential history quite a bit, and I don’t know if we’ve ever seen anything quite like this.”
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Graham’s colleague in the state, said the president should not have used the word lynching, though he understands the frustration.
“There’s no question that the impeachment process is the closet thing to a political death row trial, so I get his absolute rejection of the process,” Scott told reporters. “I wouldn’t use the word ‘lynching.’”
Graham has been a staunch defender of the president throughout the impeachment process. Shortly after Trump released the transcript of his July phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Graham flatly dared the Democrats to impeach Trump.
“Those who believe that the transcript is a ‘Smoking Gun’ for impeachment, do something about it — have the courage of your convictions,” the South Carolina Republican tweeted. “The House of Reps should take a vote to formally open an impeachment inquiry. Let the American people see where Members of Congress stand!”
Speaking with reporters, Graham also said that it would be “insane” for the U.S. government to impeach Trump based on the phone call with Zelensky. “From my point of view, to impeach any president over a phone call like this would be insane,” said Graham.