Former President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial drew to a close on Saturday when Democrats failed to get the number of votes required for a conviction, making him the first U.S. president to secure two acquittals.
As Senate Democrats wrestled with the decision to prolong the spectacle by calling witnesses, one Republican revealed that he supported calling witnesses — in order to compel House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to testify. The Democrats ultimately caved and decided to pass on calling witnesses.
As reported by the Washington Examiner, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joined with four other GOP senators in voting to have witnesses appear.
His reason for doing so was to force an appearance by Pelosi, a point that he made clear via Twitter on Saturday afternoon, declaring that “if the body wants witnesses, I am going to insist we have multiple witnesses.”
Driven by optics?
“We can start with Speaker Pelosi to answer the question as to whether or not there was credible evidence of pre-planned violence before President Trump spoke?” he tweeted.
“Whether Speaker Pelosi, due to optics, refused requests by the Capitol Hill Police for additional resources like the National Guard?” Graham continued.
The long-time senator went on to add that an appearance by the House speaker would be “incredibly relevant to the incitement charge.”
During a Friday interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Graham pointed to evidence that the January 6 Capitol Hill riot was planned well before President Trump made his speech, saying, “If there was pre-planning, there was no incitement.”
He stressed that “the FBI and the Capitol Hill police actually now understand this was preplanned,” and cited the fact that rioters “were planting bombs the night before.”
In light of those revelations, Graham expressed curiosity over just how much information Pelosi had received before the attack took place.
“If this was widely known by the FBI and Capitol Hill police, that people were planning to come to Washington before the 6th to create violence, I want to know, did she know about that?” he asked.
Graham also said that he intended to call witnesses from the FBI and Capitol Police to provide further insight regarding Pelosi’s knowledge.