Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham acknowledged on Sunday the Republican majority “does not have the votes” in the Senate to quickly dismiss the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
“That’s dead for practical purposes,” the South Carolina Republican said on on “Fox News Sunday.” “There are a lot of senators, who I think will wind up acquitting the president, that believe that we need to hear the House’s case, the president’s case and ask questions.”
“So the idea of dismissing the case early on is not going to happen. We don't have the votes for that," he concluded.
With the impeachment trial set to begin in earnest Tuesday in the Senate, the seven House impeachment managers previewed their opening arguments Saturday with an 11-page trial brief featuring the evidence that has emerged since the lower chamber voted to impeach the president on Dec. 18.
Some new allegations underscore the case against the president — a blow to Republicans lobbying for a quick dismissal of the articles of impeachment.
“There is no allegation of crime against the president,” Graham insisted. “When it comes to Donald Trump, [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi may pray privately, but she's orchestrated the trial of holy hell.
“You took 48 days to impeach this president. You did not allow him to call any witnesses. He could not have a lawyer present during the House Intel Committee,” he went on. “This has been a partisan railroad job.”
The Senate expects to sign off on formal rules for the trial within the next few days, including time limits for speakers and guidelines for floor votes over whether witnesses should be called.
"If we call one witness, we're gonna call all the witnesses," Graham said Sunday.
But with some GOP senators floating the possibility of 12-hour days, Republicans appear focused on wrapping up the trial as soon as possible.
“The sooner this is over, the better for the country,” Graham said. “We can get back to doing the business of the American people and do things that really matter to them.”
Asked what Trump's mindset is, Graham said, “His hope is to go to the State of the Union [on Feb. 4] and talk about what he wants to do for 2020 and the next four years.”
“He is comfortable with the idea that this is going to turn out well for him,” Graham said.