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Lindsey Graham asked Chuck Schumer, the next Senate majority leader, to dismiss a Trump impeachment trial in the name of ‘national healing’

Lindsey Graham asked Chuck Schumer, the next Senate majority leader, to dismiss a Trump impeachment trial in the name of ‘national healing’

by Kelsey Vlamis | Business Insider  |  Published on January 18, 2021

Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Sen. Chuck Schumer in a letter Sunday to hold a Senate vote rejecting the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

“The Senate should vote to dismiss the article of impeachment once it is received in the Senate,” Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, said in the letter. “We will be delaying indefinitely, if not forever, the healing of this great nation if we do otherwise.”

Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives last week on a charge of “incitement of insurrection” over his role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, where his supporters tried to stop the certification of the 2020 election results. The attack left five people dead.

The Senate is set to hold a trial in which it will vote on whether to convict the president. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, has indicated the trial will not start until after Inauguration Day, by which time Schumer, a Democrat from New York, will be the new majority leader.

Graham, a frequent ally of the president, briefly broke from Trump after the Capitol siege and acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden had won the 2020 US election.

In the letter to Schumer, however, he argued that it would be “unconstitutional” to hold an impeachment trial for Trump after he’s left office. Though such a trial has never been attempted for a former US president, several legal scholars have argued it would be allowed under the Constitution.

Graham also praised Vice President Mike Pence for refusing to heed calls, including from the president, to break from the Constitution by attempting to overturn the election results. Graham compared that decision to Schumer’s.

“But now, in your first act as Majority Leader, rather than begin the national healing that the country so desperately yearns for, you seek vengeance and political retaliation instead,” he wrote.

Graham said Senate Republicans “rejected unconstitutional actions” regarding the election certification.

“Virtually all of us rejected further challenges to the 2020 election,” he said.

In the days before the certification, about a dozen GOP senators said they would object to certifying some Electoral College votes. Of those, several reversed course after the violence at the Capitol, but eight of them ended up supporting at least one of the objections.

Graham himself pressured Georgia’s top elections official to throw out largely Democratic mail-in ballots.

Days before sending the letter to Schumer, Graham spoke out against the impeachment and implied McConnell, who has said he will wait to hear the evidence presented at the trial, is “making the problem worse.”

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