By Zachary Stieber
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said no Republican senators will vote to remove President Donald Trump from office if the House votes to impeach or formally charge him.
The Senate, in that case, would conduct an impeachment trial, after which it would vote to acquit him or remove him from office. Two-thirds of the senators present would need to vote to convict Trump to remove him from office.
Graham said on Oct. 29 that “not one vote” to remove Trump among GOP members in the Senate exists “because he did nothing wrong.”
Before making his assertion, Graham said that House Democrats have been unable to accept the result of the 2016 presidential election.
“You have to accept that President Trump is president,” Graham said during an appearance on Fox News’s “Hannity.”
“That’s the problem. They don’t accept that President Trump won the election, and America hates a sore loser as much as any country on the planet. This is an unfair process being driven by sore losers and there is not one vote in the United States Senate to impeach President Trump based on this phone call because he did nothing wrong.”
Graham added that he meant Republicans in the Senate, not the entire Senate.
The Senate is currently composed of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two Independents who vote with the Democrats.
Graham has circulated a resolution condemning the impeachment inquiry, garnering 50 co-sponsors.
Three Republicans have not signed onto the measure: Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Graham also criticized the resolution the House is slated to vote on this week approving the next phase of the impeachment inquiry. The inquiry has not been approved by the body with a vote as of yet.
The resolution was released on Tuesday and showed strict rules governed by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).
“The president’s denied right to counsel and Republicans can’t call witnesses without Schiff agreeing, so this whole thing is a sham,” Graham said.
Schiff and Democratic leaders argued the same day that the resolution will enable the inquiry to proceed in public.
“Following in the footsteps of previous impeachment inquiries, the next phase will move from closed depositions to open hearings where the American people will learn firsthand about the president’s misconduct,” they wrote in a joint statement.
Other Republicans criticized the resolution, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
“Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Schiff have turned the House Intelligence Committee into the Impeachment Committee,” he said in a statement. “It appears they are more concerned with removing President Trump from the White House than they are with removing terrorists from the battlefield.”