JANUARY 9, 2021
Lindsey Graham called on President-elect Joe Biden to immediately contact Democratic congressional leaders and “the Squad,” requesting they cease any discussion of President Donald Trump being impeached for a second time in the aftermath of the Capitol assault.
The Republican senator from South Carolina appeared on Fox News Friday night and urged Biden to “pick up the phone” and tell House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats not to impeach Trump in the coming weeks.
Pelosi on Friday told House members “we must take action” to immediately remove Trump from office, a sentiment echoed by several top Republicans including Lisa Murkowski. The Alaska senator said the president simply “needs to get out.”
But Graham, who said he “hated it to end this way,” touted Trump’s “helpful” speech Thursday following the deadly riot.
“I’m calling on President-elect Biden to pick up the phone to call Nancy Pelosi and the Squad to end the second impeachment” — Lindsey Graham, who says he was with Trump today, just went on Hannity for an interview that had a hostage video quality pic.twitter.com/yx9IrXCVqZ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 9, 2021
“President Trump gave a statement last night that was helpful, it hit the mark, he wants to move on to a peaceful transfer of power, he wants this to end,” Graham told Fox host Sean Hannity Friday evening. “I’ve been with him most of the day, he’s going to focus on his agenda, his successes for the American people for the next few days.”
Several House Democrats have expressed their support for a “lightning” impeachment of the president in order to remove him from office immediately.
“I’m calling on President-elect Biden to pick up the phone to call Nancy Pelosi and the Squad to end the second impeachment,” Graham continued. “Joe Biden said it’s up to Congress regarding impeachment, no President-elect Biden, it’s up to you. Stand down, this will destroy the country even further. You have the power to do that, the question is, do you have the courage to do it?”
Graham’s remark aimed toward “the Squad” makes reference to Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, who are all progressive, young women of color in the House.
Graham also told Hannity “we should move on” from attempting to overturn Biden’s victory over Trump, as a dozen of his GOP Senate colleagues tried a last-minute stunt to block the Electoral College vote count.
If convicted in a potential second impeachment held after Biden takes office, Trump would not be able to run again for president in 2024. Additionally, he would lose his yearly pension and lifetime Secret Service protection.
On Friday afternoon, Graham was heckled and berated by Trump supporters at Reagan National Airport who called him a “traitor” for his failure to audit and overturn the November election results. “It’s going to be like this wherever you go, for the rest of your life, you piece of s***,” supporters of the president warned the South Carolina senator.
Newsweek reached out to Graham’s office and the Biden transition team for additional remarks Saturday afternoon.
House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff, who led the impeachment of Trump last year, told MSNBC Friday “we will move swiftly” to send draft impeachment articles against the president. He also said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell he will “bear responsibility” for any future violence incited by Trump if he refuses to convict the president.