According to a new book on Donald Trump's unprecedented two impeachments, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) could have helped lead a Republican Party revolt against the former president after the Jan. 6 insurrection but changed his mind after being confronted by two MAGA supporters at an airport.
In an excerpt from the book, "UNCHECKED: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump,” by Rachael Bade and Karoun Demirjian to be published in mid-October, the two journalists wrote about meetings between Graham and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as they battled over going along with Democrats on impeaching Trump for a second time.
As the authors explained, both McConnell and Graham were appalled by the assault on the Capitol that was incited by Trump after a "Stop the Steal" rally with a disgusted McConnell returning later that night where he saw, "the splintered wood in the door to his Capitol suite left by marauders who had tried to break into his office and attack his staff."
Speaking with his staff, McConnell reportedly told them, "We’ve all known that Trump is crazy. I’m done with him. I will never speak to him again.”
For his part, Graham took to the floor of the Senate to lash out at the former president in a widely shared clip, where he announced, "Trump and I, we had a hell of a journey. I hate it being this way. Oh my God I hate it … but today all I can say is count me out. Enough is enough.”
However, as the book relates, Graham quickly changed his mind after a chance encounter at Reagan National Airport.
According to the book, "Two days later, Trump supporters had harassed Graham as he walked through Reagan National Airport, calling him a 'traitor.' Graham’s resolve crumbled almost immediately. By the time the House was voting to impeach the following week, he had resumed his position as captain of the president’s cheering squad. He even found Trump an impeachment trial lawyer when no one else would step forward to defend him."
The authors added, "In some ways, McConnell’s passivity had enabled such whiplash. Like Graham, many Senate Republicans who experienced a flash of conscience and self-reflection in the wake of the riot had it quickly beaten out of them by Trump’s base. Many of those senators were looking to McConnell for a smoke signal on what they should do, but the Senate GOP leader kept his cards close to the chest."
You can read more from the book here.
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