Sen. Lindsey Graham says he’d probably be a “yes” vote on convicting Joe Biden if the House ever voted to impeach the embattled president and 2024 Democratic presidential candidate.
Graham, a former representative who served as an impeachment manager in 1998 when the House impeached then-President Bill Clinton, told reporters on Tuesday: “If I had any legitimate questions — and I think there are questions about the narrative — Yeah, I would.”
“I’ve been involved in every impeachment in this country, but one,” Graham, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, reminded reporters.
Graham has been a fierce defender of Trump in the face of four criminal indictments, two of which involve Trump’s actions to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The special grand jury that handed down Trump’s fourth indictment also recommended criminal charges against the South Carolina senator, but charges ultimately were not brought.
He expressed disappointment with McCarthy for sidestepping a House floor vote on whether to open an inquiry, as he had promised. The South Carolina Republican said he thinks Pelosi hurt the process during former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment by not holding an authorizing floor vote first.
“The bottom line is, we need to have structure here,” Graham said, adding that following regular order “gives it more legitimacy.”
Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., said he had no problem with McCarthy leapfrogging over a floor vote to officially get impeachment rolling.
“I don’t think it made any difference,” the Indiana Republican said of the procedural dodge, adding, “I think it’s about time we did it.”
Braun said House investigators followed a “very methodical process” while probing Biden’s alleged influence peddling but have hit a wall of “stubbornness on the other side.” Nearly eight months of investigations into the Biden family across multiple committees have so far failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by the president.
For now, the senator said, he’s leaning toward conviction if Biden were impeached and the Senate were then to hold his trial, but he’d like to hear what House members uncover. “I’m just saying that we need more information,” he said.
“That’s why you flush it out with an impeachment inquiry,” Braun told The Messenger. “It looks like there’s enough there that we need to do this to get the rest of it out.”
Sen. Josh Hawley, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee and was attorney general of Missouri before coming to Congress, said the “credible allegations from multiple sources” and “circumstantial evidence” pieced together by House Republicans necessitate stepping things up on impeachment.
“If the House heard what they have heard from the witnesses … and just said, ‘We’re not interested.’ After that, you could never impeach a president ever,” Hawley told The Messenger.
The Missouri Republican, who is up for reelection next fall, said McCarthy was just following through on the “basic accountability” due to the American public.
“You’re not interested in the president of the United States taking bribes from foreign governments and foreign entities? Well then, nothing’s going to be impeachable,” Hawley said.
Hawley suspects bribery is the impeachable offense against Biden. “Did it happen?” he asked. “Well, let’s find out.”