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Lindsey Graham: We Could Impeach Kamala Harris in 2022

Senator also reveals Trump's thoughts on acquittal
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2021 1:09 AM CST
Updated Feb 15, 2021 6:27 AM CST

(Newser) – Lindsey Graham gave a wide-ranging interview on Fox News Sunday all about the impeachment trial, a day after it ended in acquittal for former President Trump. Some of the topics the South Carolina senator touched on:

  • Trump's reaction to the verdict: Trump "was grateful to his lawyers" and "appreciated the help that all of us provided," Graham said, per the Hill, adding that the former president was "ready to move on and rebuild the Republican Party" and "excited about 2022," though he was also "mad at some folks."
  • Mad at who? Graham didn't specify whether Mitch McConnell was one of those people, but he did say of the Senate minority leader's speech condemning Trump (even after McConnell voted to acquit): "I think Sen. McConnell’s speech—he got a load off his chest but unfortunately put a load on the back of Republicans. That speech you will see in 2022 campaigns. I would imagine if you’re a Republican running in Georgia, Arizona, New Hampshire, where we have a chance to take back the Senate, they may be playing Sen. McConnell’s speech and asking you about it if you’re a candidate."

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  • Retribution? Graham warned that Democrats had set a dangerous precedent with the trial, the New York Post reports. "If you use this model, I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House," he said. "Because she actually bailed out rioters and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody’s head open. So we’ve opened Pandora’s Box here and I’m sad for the country." He was referring to the now-VP's support of the Minnesota Freedom Fund back in June, before she became now-President Joe Biden's running mate. She encouraged people to donate to the fund, which helped Black Lives Matter protesters to post bail. It's not clear what he was referring to with his "broke somebody's head open" comment.
  • The phone call: With regard to the phone call in which Trump reportedly told House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy the rioters at the US Capitol cared more about the results of the election than McCarthy did, Graham dismissed it as "hearsay." He acknowledged the former president "bears responsibility of pushing narratives about the election that I think are not sound and not true," he said, but that is "politically protected speech.”
  • Lara Trump: Graham said the former president's daughter-in-law, wife of Eric Trump, stands to gain quite a bit from this whole thing. "The biggest winner of this whole impeachment trial is Lara Trump,” Graham said, per Slate. “My dear friend Richard Burr, [the North Carolina senator who voted to convict Trump], just made Lara Trump almost the certain nominee for the Senate seat in North Carolina to replace him if she runs.”
  • Takeaway: Vox notes that comparing Graham's Fox appearance with Sen. Bill Cassidy's Sunday appearance on ABC's This Week offers an interesting look at the pro-Trump and anti-Trump wings of the Republican party.
(Read more Trump impeachment stories.)

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