Lindsey Graham leads impeachment defense — while the White House sits it out: report
President Donald J. Trump listens as Senator Lindsey Graham makes remarks. (White House Photo by Julianna Luz.)

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) briefly broke with Donald Trump following the violent insurrection seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

"Trump and I, we've had a hell of a journey. I hate it to end this way. Oh my God, I hate it. From my point of view he's been a consequential president. But today — all I can say is count me out. Enough is enough," Graham declared on the floor of the Senate.

But that apparently was not enough after Graham flew on Air Force One with Trump on Tuesday.

"Sen. Lindsey Graham is leading the charge against President Donald Trump's impeachment and removal in the Senate, even as the White House remains largely uninvolved," Politico reported Wednesday.

Citing "three people familiar with the effort," Politico reported Graham "has been calling around to Republican senators urging them to oppose convicting the president in the Senate's expected impeachment trial."

Graham's spokesperson said the calls were unsolicited.

"Honestly we're way ahead of any request from the White House," Kevin Bishop told Politico.

On Twitter, Graham publicly warned impeachment will hurt the Republican Party and criticized the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

"With Trump set to become the first president to be impeached twice, the White House has remained largely on the sidelines. During Trump's first impeachment, Trump had a full legal team and a messaging operation emanating from the White House — one that recruited Trump's top allies on Capitol Hill and other outside advisers to defend the president on the airwaves," Politico reported. "But as the House was preparing a vote to impeach Trump on Wednesday, few Republicans were openly defending the president. Instead, some were haranguing the House's impeachment process as rushed and unfair, and arguing that the Democrat-led efforts would further divide the country."