In remarks about Donald Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that Democrats had better think twice before “opening a can of worms” by calling witnesses to testify against the former president. Graham said that if Democrats call even a single witness, Republicans will respond by bringing the FBI onto the floor to speak to lawmakers.
“If you open that can of worms, we’ll want the FBI to come in and tell us about how people pre-planned this attack and what happened with the security footprint at the Capitol. You open up Pandora’s Box if you call one witness,” he said.
Graham also took a shot at Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who is pushing the Senate to holding a confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland the day before the trial is scheduled to begin.
“Democrats do not get to score political points in an unprecedented act of political theater on one hand while also trying to claim the mantle of good government on the other,” Graham said.
One of Trump’s impeachment attorneys, David Schoen, told Sean Hannity this week that Senate Democrats are going into the trial having already decided the former president’s guilt.
“This process is completely unconstitutional and it is a very, very dangerous road to take with respect to the First Amendment, putting at risk any passionate political speaker which is really against everything we believe and in this country,” he said.
In addition to arguing that the trial itself is unconstitutional (because Trump is no longer a sitting president), Schoen and co-counsel Bruce Castor say they will present evidence that some Capitol rioters had already planned to storm the building long before Trump spoke that morning, making the Democrats’ case entirely irrelevant. They will also challenge the charges on First Amendment grounds, saying that an impeachment conviction would have vast ramifications when it comes to the censorship of political speech.
Frankly, we don’t understand why they don’t go with the simplest argument, which is that Trump never incited anyone. He never told them to set one foot on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. He certainly didn’t tell anyone to go through the barricades. He absolutely did not tell them to push past police and take over the exterior of the building. And he didn’t even come close to telling them to break inside and stop the certification proceedings.
On the other hand, seeing as how a majority of Senate Republicans have already voted to call the whole trial unconstitutional, we don’t really understand the point of going through with it in the first place. This is nothing other than Democrat showboating.
Just like it was last time.