The Slatest

Democrats Blast GOP Senators for Saying They Won’t Impeach Trump Before Trial

Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) take questions from reporters during a news conference following their weekly policy luncheon, September 26, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) take questions from reporters during a news conference following their weekly policy luncheon, September 26, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Before the impeachment trial begins in the Senate, the rules clearly dictate that senators must swear an oath to carry out “impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.” But some Republican senators are saying publicly they already know they will vote against impeachment before the trial even begins. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took that a step further, saying last week that he was working in “total coordination” with the White House. Speaking on ABC’s This Week House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said that was like “the foreman of the jury saying he’s going to work hand in glove with the defense attorney.” That attitude amounts to a “violation of the oath that they’re about to take, and it’s a complete subversion of the constitutional scheme,” Nadler added.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of Trump’s closest allies in Congress, also said that his mind was made up before the process even began. “I’m not trying to hide the fact that I have disdain for the accusations in the process,” Graham said Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation. Speaking with CNN on Saturday, Graham said that he wasn’t “trying to pretend to be a fair juror.” Graham predicted that impeachment “will die quickly” in the Senate and vowed to “do everything I can to make it die quickly.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said that Graham’s position on impeachment shows that Republicans are not interested in the truth. “I think we see clearly what’s going on here with the comments of Lindsey Graham and others, and that is they don’t want the American people to see the facts. They realize what’s been presented in the House is already overwhelming, but there’s more damning evidence to be had, and they don’t want the American people to see that, and I, you know, think that’s disgraceful,” Schiff said on ABC.

Speaking on CNN, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said that McConnell and Graham’s words mark yet another instance of how Republicans don’t seem to care about Trump’s actions. “It’s why I’m so disappointed in my colleagues, this see no evil, hear no evil attitude, that they don’t want to look at anything to–that might disagree with their world view of Republicanism and this President,” he said.