WASHINGTON (WCSC) - Sen. Lindsey Graham told reporters Friday he believes a plan to impeach President Donald Trump after he leaves office is unconstitutional.
He said America needs to “calm down and heal” and says he has a sense of optimism ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration.
“Joe Biden has a chance to heal us. A second impeachment will not heal this nation,” he said. “To the people in South Carolina, I promise you I will work with President Biden, where I can to rebuild this nation to make sure we go forward, that we get COVID relief in a timely matter, that we will do something about our roads and our bridges. And if he wants to find middle ground, I will seek it, but I will oppose the socialist agenda coming out of the House.”
Graham said he hopes the Democrats will stand down on their efforts to convict Trump in the Senate after he is out of office, something that would have never happened before to any president.
“If the reason they’re doing this is to post a scarlet letter on Donald Trump so you can’t run again, play that out,” he said. “Anything they can do we can do. There’s a reason no Senate in the history of the country has done this, even though they’ve had the opportunity to do it.”
He said the practice would destroy the president over time.
Graham said he has complete respect for Rep. Tom Rice, a fellow Republican, who voted to impeach Trump.
“He did what he thought was right. I have a different view of impeachment than Tom does but I never doubt his sincerity,” Graham said. “He’s the hardest working member of Congress I think I’ve ever known.”
Graham also called for full accountability on the security failures leading up to the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Graham criticized Trump’s words leading up to the violence in Washington.
“Mr. President, you have a lot to be proud of in terms of accomplishments in policy accomplishments,” he said. “What happened Jan. 6 is going to be part of his legacy. I think he pushed, ‘The election was stolen’ far too long and too hard. And it seems to me that the president is ready to move on. He has been a friend.”
Graham said he will continue to work with Trump in the future but also looks forward to working with Biden.
“What happened on Jan. 6 broke my heart never been more mad in my life. I was so angry that we were run out of the Senate by a bunch of thugs,” he said. “This can never happen again to the American people or to South Carolinians. Our best days lie ahead if we want them to be better. I want it to be better. I’m willing to work with Democrats. I told Republicans stand down: It is over. The election is behind us. Now I’m telling my Democratic colleagues: Stop impeachment.”