Sen. Lindsay Graham and Rep. Matt Gaetz are criticizing some of their fellow Republicans over the impeachment vote against President Trump in the House.
Even before the House voted to impeach Trump a second time on Wednesday, Graham, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, warned his colleagues that their vote would only serve to deepen the divisions in the country.
“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. The President, who will be leaving office in less than a week, has committed to an orderly transfer of power, encouraging calm and rejecting violence,” Graham of South Carolina said in a statement on Twitter.
“As to Senate leadership, I fear they are making the problem worse, not better. The last thing the country needs is an impeachment trial of a president who is leaving office in one week,” he continued, addressing his Senate GOP colleagues.
Graham released the statement a day after traveling with Trump to the southern border in Texas where the president reviewed the progress on the wall being built.
It also comes days after Graham was heckled by a group of Trump supporters as a “traitor” for refusing to back the president’s challenge to the Electoral College results as he made his way through a Washington, DC airport last Friday.
“It’s going to be like this forever wherever you go for the rest of your life!” a woman screamed at him. “Audit the vote!”
The House voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday by a 223-197 margin, with 10 Republicans crossing the aisle to vote with Democrats, including Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking Republican in the chamber.
The one article of impeachment for “incitement of an insurrection” at the US Capitol last Wednesday will now be sent to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future as Trump leaves office in just one week, on Jan. 20.
Gaetz, who voted against impeachment, rebuffed Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) after he defended Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
“Let’s get some truth on the record: @Liz_Cheney has a hell of a lot more backbone than most, & is a principled leader with a fierce intellect. She will continue to be a much needed leader in the conference, with my full support,” Crenshaw wrote on Twitter. “We can disagree without tearing each other apart.”
Gaetz responded on the social media platform.
“With all due respect to Rep. Crenshaw, this is a minority view within the minority party,” Gaetz wrote in a post.
Graham expanded on his comments during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday evening.
He rejected the idea of a post-presidential impeachment, saying it is “bad for the presidency, bad for the country, and if we go along with it as Republicans, we will destroy the Republican Party. If we do it as a Senate, I think, over time we will destroy the presidency.”
He called on President-elect Joe Biden to reach out to incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and tell them: “for the good of the country, President Trump will be leaving office on Jan. 20, let’s stop impeachment, let’s stop it now.”
“If this becomes the norm, be careful what you wish for today. Under this theory, the radical left, if you can impeach a president after they’re out of office, why don’t we impeach George Washington. He owned slaves. Where does this stop?” he continued.
Cheney of Wyoming has come under attack from other Republicans who are calling for her to be stripped of her leadership role because of her support for impeachment.
Head of the House Freedom Caucus Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) is circulating a petition among the 44-person conservative bloc calling on Cheney to resign as chair of the House Republican Conference.
Cheney has defied attempts to unseat her.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she said.