In an unprecedented move, House Democrats, along with a handful of Republicans, voted to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time last week, alleging that he incited a riot at the U.S. Capitol. In another first, Trump’s Senate trial will not conclude until his term has already ended.
One high profile Republican, however, has suggested that Trump may not be the only one who needs to worry about a post-presidency conviction.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) pointed out the absurdity of attempting to impeach a president after he has already left office during an interview with Fox News personality Sean Hannity on Wednesday.
“Should we impeach Barack Obama because, for 24 hours, he never lifted a finger to help those people under siege in Benghazi?” Graham said. “Where does this stop?”
Graham was referring to the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on an American consulate and a CIA annex located in Benghazi, Libya.
Ambassador Chris Stevens, United States Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, as well as CIA contractors Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, were killed in the assault.
A 2016 congressional report concluded that the facilities were known to be poorly defended and that requests to bolster security were ignored by Obama and his administration.
“Where does this stop?”
“We impeach the president today without any evidence. It’s just sheer hatred. If this becomes the norm, be careful what you wish for today,” Graham told Hannity.
The senator continued: “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?
“So, to my Republican colleagues, let’s stand firm for the idea — whether you like Donald Trump or not, he’s not above the law,” he urged.
“If he did something wrong, you know, you can face the consequences of the law. Impeachment is political. What we’re doing here is we’re impeaching the president without any evidence, without any witnesses and we’re going to have a trial after they are out of office,” Graham asserted.
“How do you survive as a president in the future?” the senator concluded, noting that the move “will be an attack on the presidency in perpetuity.”