Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in a statement on Wednesday that the process of impeaching President Donald Trump a week before he leaves office lacks due process and will further divide the nation.
“The process being used in the House to impeach President Trump is an affront to any concept of due process and will further divide the country,” he wrote on Twitter.
“The House impeachment process seeks to legitimize a snap impeachment totally void of due process,” he added. “No hearings. No witnesses. It is a rushed process that, over time, will become a threat to future presidents.”
Graham’s comments came as the House debated an article of impeachment charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection.” Democrats and some GOP leaders claimed the president incited the attack through his speech earlier Jan. 6.
Trump made a speech to protesters near the Capitol. He told the crowd beforehand that their protest shows “the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country” and “let us walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.” The president did not tell the protesters to breach the Capitol or commit acts of violence and later condemned them.
At one point, Trump told the protesters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices be heard.”
Graham defended Trump supporters and asked lawmakers to “make things better, not worse.”
“The millions who have supported President Trump and his agenda should not be demonized because of the despicable actions of a seditious mob,” Graham said. “The individuals who participated in the storming of the Capitol should be met with the full force of the law. They should and will be held accountable.”
Graham urged his colleagues to consider the effect this second impeachment effort would have on the future of the country.
“Supporting the impeachment of President Trump under these circumstances will do great damage to the institutions of government and could invite further violence at a time the President is calling for calm,” said Graham.
“As to Senate leadership, I fear they are making the problem worse, not better,” he added. “The last thing the country needs is an impeachment trial of a president who is leaving office in one week.”
Since the attack on the Capitol, Trump has told his supporters to be peaceful and said he will help facilitate a peaceful transition of power but that he would not be going to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20.
“To my Republican colleagues who legitimize this process, you are doing great damage not only to the country, the future of the presidency, but also to the party,” Graham said.
A handful of GOP House members said they would join Democrats to vote in favor of the article of impeachment, but in order for the Senate to try the president in an emergency session, all 100 senators would have to agree to it.
In addition, Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Democrats have virtually no chance of successfully impeaching and removing Trump before Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, after which Trump cannot be impeached.
“The case cannot come to trial in the Senate. Because the Senate has rules, and the rules would not allow the case to come to trial until, according to the majority leader, until 1 p.m. on January 20th, an hour after President Trump leaves office,” Dershowitz said in a Fox Business interview on Sunday.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.