Reprinted with permission from Alternet
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was roundly denounced Sunday after sending a letter to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer that characterized the pending trial of President Donald Trump as "vengeance" and "political retaliation" that he argued would further divide the nation.
While the U.S. House impeached Trump for his roll in inciting a violent mob of his supporters to storm the nation's capitol building on January 6—an insurrectionist effort unparalled in U.S. history that left at least five people dead—Graham argues in his letter that Schumer, if he proceeds with a trial in the Senate, would be guilty of "one more unconstitutional action in this disgraceful saga" that he said would only "incite further division."
Critics of Graham, however, immediately pounced on the South Carolina Republican for his faulty logic and the disgraceful nature of the letter.
"Lindsey Graham should take the first step towards healing and resign," quipped People for Bernie in response.
"This is basically extortionate: Sorry, no unity until the demands for accountability are dropped," wrote Washington Post political correspondent Greg Sargent. "The answer to this is 'No. You are the ones who have committed the offense. You don't get to set one-sided conditions for unity after what you did.'"
Hey Senator, any word on how many of your colleagues acknowledge that Joe Biden won a fair election? Why don't you… https://t.co/c46RGZwMNX— Dean Baker (@Dean Baker)1610902139.0
Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) unleashed on Graham in a series of tweets, citing the Republican's own behavior that fostered Trump's lies about the outcome of the 2020 election and his long history of two-faced accomodation to Trump's anti-democratic authoritarianism.
"Graham," said Beyer, "pressured election officials in Georgia to throw out lawful ballots and overturn the result." He then added:
If you went from calling Trump a con man who couldn’t be trusted with the nuclear arsenal and an “out-and-out racis… https://t.co/zrgbD5hpTY— Rep. Don Beyer (@Rep. Don Beyer)1610901525.0
Likewise, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J) said that it's nearly impossible to take the words of Graham seriously given what he, along with so many of his Republican colleagues in Congress, said and did to the nation in recent months—including those who voted against certification of the President-elect Joe Biden's win.
"For months GOP leaders spread lies about the election," Pascrell tweeted Sunday in response to Graham's letter. "Acting on those lies fascists ransacked the Capitol and *hours later* 138-of-202 (68 %) House republicans voted to make trump a dictator."
"Nothing Republican leaders say about unity," he added, "is worth a nickel."