• Sen. Graham said he plans to acquit Trump
  • Graham, McConnell: No witnesses needed during impeachment trial
  • Democrats are calling on Graham to recuse himself

On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.-S.C.) said once again that he and other Republicans have already decided that they will vote to acquit President Donald Trump when the impeachment trial reaches the Senate. Democrats and even some conservatives believe this is a serious issue that should preclude Graham from participating in the impeachment process.

Having previously backed Senate Republicans’ intent to not allow any witnesses during the impeachment trial, Graham said again on CBS’ 'Face The Nation' that he is “ready to vote on the underlying articles, I don’t really need to hear a lot of witnesses.”

Graham said he has “clearly made up my mind” on whether Trump should be convicted and removed from office. He also reiterated his desire to conduct the impeachment trial as quickly as possible.

Other top Republicans on the Hill, including Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have made similar remarks in which they claim that Democrats are merely impeaching Trump on a political basis and lack any true legal reasoning for such a move.

Democrats fired back, saying that Republicans who have openly appeared to make up their minds on how to vote during the impeachment trial cannot be impartial jurors and should recuse themselves from the process. They have also expressed concerns over Senate Republicans’ intent to severely limit the rules for the impeachment trial, including the push to exclude any witness testimony.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said that these statements from Hill Republicans demonstrate a “violation of the oath that they’re about to take, and it’s a complete subversion of the constitutional scheme.” Nadler has been an instrumental figure in the drafting and filing of the articles of impeachment against Trump.

It’s not just Democrats expressing concern about impartiality, though.

In a fiery op-ed, conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote that while it’s not surprising that Graham and others have expressed no desire to be impartial, it does make a strong case for them to be legally required to sit out of the impeachment process. While other Republicans on the Hill have not as been as open about how they will vote, Rubin wonders whether or not they will feel pressure from their constituents to join their Democrat peers in opening up the rules for the trial.

Recent polling shows that while Americans are still largely evenly split over their support of Trump’s impeachment, there has been a very slight increase over the last week of those who believe he should be removed from the White House.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said the US will use sanctions to drive Turkey out of Syria
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said the US will use sanctions to drive Turkey out of Syria GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Allison Shelley