Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday penned a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Sunday calling for the article of impeachment against President Donald Trump to be dropped. According to Graham, Schumer’s first act as the chamber’s head should be to shut down the “unconstitutional action” that is being taken.
“Vice President Pence stood in the breach against unconstitutional calls for him to overturn the 2020 election and violate his oath to defend the Constitution. Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s Majority Leader, likewise rejected those same calls. Virtually all of us rejected further challenges to the 2020 election,” Graham wrote. “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. While the Vice President and Senate Republicans rejected unconstitutional actions, you seek to force upon the Senate, what would itself be but one more unconstitutional action in this disgraceful saga – the impeachment trial of a former president.”
Graham pointed to the Constitution, saying Congress’ ability to impeach a president can only be done while he or she is in office.
“The impeachment power exists to protect the Nation from the harm that an incumbent president might inflict upon the Nation were he to remain in office, not to vindicate political grievances after a president has left office,” the letter stated.
While removing a president from office and barring him from running for office again are Congressional powers, those remedies have to take place while the president is in office.
“They are not separate remedies for two different constitutional impeachments, the one for a president who is incumbent in office and the other for a president who is no longer incumbent in office,” the senator stated. “If a Senate trial is not constitutional, then the remedy of disqualification is unavailable to the Congress as a punishment for the unconstitutionally impeached president.”
Graham also stated that the Framers never “intended to empower Congress to disqualify any former officer it would like, whenever it would like, and with no investigation.”
He made the argument that this move can and will set a dangerous precedent.
“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? Should Democrats now just ‘go ahead’ and disqualify Trump administration officials from future office while they hold both chambers, just because they believe they can?” he asked.
Graham concluded his letter by saying the impeachment of President Trump wouldn’t be about protecting the country and the Constitution. He called on the Senate to dismiss the article of impeachment once it’s received in the chambers.
Below is the full letter:
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
Author: Beth Baumann