FULL EPISODE: 1/17/21 Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Jim Clyburn on Trump’s 2nd impeachment and Biden’s inauguration

FULL EPISODE: 1/17/21 Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Jim Clyburn on Trump’s 2nd impeachment and Biden’s inauguration
Official portrait of Senator Lindsey Graham of SC.

Washington, D.C. – Greta Van Susteren interviewed Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), House Majority Whip, for Gray Television’s “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren” airing Sunday, January 17, 2021. The program will also feature an interview with Gray TV White House reporter Jon Decker.

Sen. Graham told Van Susteren he believes holding a Senate impeachment trial after President Trump leaves office is unconstitutional and would further divide the nation, calling it “massively bad for the country.”

When asked whether the Senate could hold an impeachment trial and work on President-Elect Biden’s agenda at the same time, Graham said: “No. Once we become the court of impeachment, that’s it. You’re not going to have it both ways here.” Graham called on President-elect Biden “to practice what you preach” and put an end to the impeachment trial in order to heal the nation.

Defending impeachment, Rep. Clyburn said President Trump needed to be brought to justice for inciting an insurrection and trying to overturn a lawful election. Clyburn juxtaposed Mr. Trump’s actions to those of Vice President Gore after he lost the 2000 election: “He [Gore], the way men do, good men do, he announced that winner, though the winner had just defeated him. It’s too bad that the current President is such a small man.”

When asked if he believed those who attacked the Capitol had inside help, Clyburn answered: “I’ve seen and heard enough to tell me that there was some coordination taking place between people inside those buildings and people who were outside of them.”

Of Vice President-Elect Biden’s COVID relief plan, Clyburn said: “I would not call it a stimulus plan … It’s a rescue. He’s talking about adding $1,400 per person on top of that $600, to give each person $2,000 cash. They’re going to use that money to pay light bills, pay water bills, pay rent, catch up on their mortgages. So that will not stimulate anything. That is going to be to take care of past burdens.”

Sen. Graham and Rep. Clyburn highlights are below.

1/17/21 Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Jim Clyburn on Trump’s 2nd impeachment and Biden’s inauguration

Sen. Lindsey Graham Highlights

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

On impeachment and a Senate trial

I think impeaching a president after they left office is unconstitutional, destructive to the country will create further dissension and is a horribly bad idea.”

Greta Van Susteren

Well, one of the remedies that the constitution does provide is that you could set conditions like that he can be disqualified from office forever ... So would that not at least give a reason whether you agree or not to go forward?

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Absolutely not. I mean, the idea, it says it shall remove the president. He’s no longer the president. So this has been tried twice before in the past, rejected both times. It leads to never-ending retribution. Should we go back and look at the conduct of past presidents who failed to meet standards that we think they should have? So I just think it’s bad for the presidency itself. If you want to try to bar somebody for office, for supporting insurrection, you can use the 14th Amendment.”

On whether the Senate can conduct a trial and work on Biden’s agenda at the same time

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

No, once we become the court of impeachment, that’s it. You’re not going to have it both ways here. So I’m calling President-Elect Biden to practice what you preach.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

How hard would it be to say for President-Elect Biden to say I don’t condone his conduct, what he did was terrible, but we’re going to end this, we’re going to heal the nation. President Trump a couple of days ago gave a great statement saying let’s move forward. I renounce violence, those who defile the capitol are not my supporters. My movement doesn’t embrace this. And I don’t want to tar every Trump supporter with the actions of a few rioters. So that’s where I stand.

On whether President-Elect Biden should pardon President Trump

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Whether or not you want to give a pardon to President Trump, I’ll leave that up to President-Elect Biden. But I think the one thing you can do and he should do is stand down impeachment.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

It’s going to take more than Donald Trump to heal the nation, it’s going to take Joe Biden to work with the Republican Party and Democratic Party to heal the nation. Impeachment is not what I think will heal the nation.

On President Trump’s current mindset

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

I think he believes impeachment is bad for the presidency. I think his statement a couple of days ago, renouncing violence, rejecting violence as being part of his movement, saying that those who did this are not part of the Trump movement, I agree with that. The president enjoys a lot of support in the Republican Party. I think he made a mistake going to the rally. What he said was not helpful, it was wrong, but I don’t think it’s a crime. But he’s subject, if somebody thinks it’s a crime, to the law of the land like everybody else.

On whether President Trump should have condemned the Capitol attack sooner

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Yeah, I think his initial statement on Wednesday was not good. Thursday was better and a couple of days ago was what he should’ve said right after. But you know, there are irregularities in every election.

They may have been irregularities, but as Barr said, didn’t see massive fraud. Mail-in balloting is a problem, I think for the country and I think it was abused here, but it’s time to move on, it’s time to accept the fact that President-Elect Biden won, he’s the legitimate president.

On Biden’s COVID relief package

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

A lot of that I support, I supported the $2,000 payment.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

So I look forward to working with President Biden when he becomes president to see if we can get a package that will pass. 1.93 trillion I think it’s a bit excessive, but the things you just laid out, I could support. And this would be a good opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to work together because people are hurting out there. We need money for vaccines. We need checks to families and middle of low-income families who are struggling. There’s a lot of things we can do. And I look forward to working with President-Elect Biden to accomplish a COVID package”

Rep. Clyburn Highlights

On impeachment and the Senate trial

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC)

This is a Republic, which is a representative democracy. And if we are going to mean anything for our children and grandchildren, we cannot say to them, “Do anything you darn well please. And if you can run the clock out, you’ll be able to get away with it.” Although the clock may run out, I do believe this man needs be brought to justice.

On whether the trial would further anger Trump supporters and cause more division

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC)

They need to understand that elections are held, somebody wins and somebody loses. The closest election in my lifetime was the election won by George W. Bush in 2000. Al Gore was Vice President. It was his job to preside over the joint session. It was his job to announce the winner. And he, the way men do, good men do, he announced that winner, though the winner had just defeated him. It’s too bad that the current President is such a small man.

On reports that members of Congress helped rioters

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC)

I’ve seen and heard enough to tell me that there was some coordination taking place between people inside those buildings and people who were outside of them.

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC)

According to one of the people who has been arrested or detained, for some reason, he named two members of Congress as being two people that he was coordinating his plans with. So I have no idea whether or not it’s true, but that’s what he’s reported to have said. And I also know that the speech given by, and I’ll call his name More Brooks, minutes before those people marched up there, the speech given by Donald Trump Jr., and comments a day or two earlier, Gohmer, from down there in Texas, Congressman Gohmer. These tell me that they were not in isolation. They seemed to be speaking as a prelude to something.”

On Vice President Pence’s recent actions

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC)

He’s done great in the last a week. I wish he’d been that great for the last four years.

On President-Elect Biden’s COVID relief plan

It’s a good strong plan, but I would not call it a stimulus plan, I think is what he’s called it. It’s a rescue. He’s talking about adding $1,400 per person on top of that $600, to give each person $2,000 cash. They’re going to use that money to pay light bills, pay water bills, pay rent, catch up on their mortgages. So that will not stimulate anything. That is going to be to take care of past burdens. He is going to come forth in about 30 days at the State of the Union Address and lay out his plan to stimulate the economy. It’s going to be a totally different kind of plan. So I think that what he did last night bodes well for the current situation that people find themselves in, but the simulation is going to come with the program that he’ll lay out at his state of the union.”

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About Greta Van Susteren:

Greta Van Susteren is the Chief Political Analyst for Gray Media and host of Full Court Press. Ms. Van Susteren is a veteran of Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and CNN. Her prime-time Fox News Channel Show, “On the Record,” was number 1 in its time slot for 14 1⁄2 years. Before joining Fox News, she hosted CNN’s prime-time news and analysis program, “The Point with Greta Van Susteren,” and co-hosted the network’s daily legal analysis show, “Burden of Proof.” Her legal analysis for CNN’s coverage of Election 2000 earned her the American Bar Association’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Journalism. She continues to host the weekly 30-minute program “Plugged In with Greta Van Susteren” on Voice of America, which broadcasts exclusively outside of the United States.

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