Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is predicting the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump will conclude by Sunday, as he argued the number of senators who will vote against the article of impeachment is growing.
“This thing is collapsing before their eyes, and the not-guilty vote is growing, so it’ll be over by Sunday, I hope, for the good of country,” Graham said on Fox News’ “Hannity” late Wednesday, after senators heard nearly eight hours of arguments in Washington.
“The not-guilty vote is growing after today. I think most Republicans found the presentation by the House managers offensive and absurd. We all know what happened at the Capitol was terrible. I hope everybody involved that broke into the Capitol goes to jail, but I don’t remember any of these House managers saying a damn thing when they were trying to break into my house and going after Susan Collins and spitting on all of us,” Graham added.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) faced attacks for her vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018. Graham’s Washington home, meanwhile, was targeted last year by noisy activists.
“We’re hoping the thing concludes by Saturday,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) added to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday. “The last I heard was Saturday, but I’m not sure that’s going to be possible. I think it may be more like Sunday,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) added.
Some senators said they found the House impeachment managers’ presentation Wednesday compelling but others suggested it had done nothing to change minds.
“I’m not a lawyer but I didn’t see a case there that a prosecutor can make in court against the president,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of Republican Senate leadership, told reporters.
“I think you get, at best, six Republicans, and everything else will stay as it was,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said.
Six GOP senators sided with Democrats in authorizing the trial to happen, with a core group of five regular Trump critics—Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mitt Romney (Utah), Ben Sasse (Neb.), and Pat Toomey (Pa.)— joined by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who had previously dubbed it unconstitutional.
The bulk of Republicans have suggested or pledged to vote to acquit Trump, while 10 Democrats have committed to convicting him.
A supermajority must vote to convict, or Trump will be acquitted for a second time. After an impeachment trial last year, Trump was acquitted on two counts, with every Republican but Romney voting to acquit.