Senator Lindsay Graham says God will not judge him for refusing to vote to convict President Donald Trump.
In a dig at Senator Mitt Romney, who on Wednesday was the only Republican to go against his party to vote Trump guilty, Graham said he ‘used the common sense that God gave me to understand this is a bunch of BS.’
Before Romney cast his fateful vote, making him an instant pariah in the Republican party, he gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor that it was his faith – Romney is a devout Mormon – that led him to that decision.
In response, Graham called in to the Brian Kilmeade Show on Fox and said: ‘When I go to meet God at the pearly gates, I don’t think he’s going to ask me, ”Why didn’t you convict Trump?”’
‘I may be wrong, but I don’t think that’s going to be at the top of the list.’
Graham told the Fox News host that the impeachment was ‘politically driven.’
‘It was driven by people who are not looking for the truth, they hate Trump, they were going to impeach him the day he got elected and if you can’t see through this, your religion is clouding your thinking here.’
Graham admitted that he ‘always liked’ Romney, but didn’t share the same battle with faith over the vote to acquit Trump, calling it the ‘easiest decision I’ve ever had to make.’
Romney was the lone Republican to find Trump guilty on one article of impeachment: abuse of power. He voted to acquit the president on the second charge: obstruction of Congress.
In his remarks on the Senate floor, Romney said: ‘The allegations made in the articles of impeachment are very serious. As a senator juror, I swore an oath before god to exercise impartial justice. I am profoundly religious.
‘My faith is at the heart of who I am. I take an oath before god as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own party would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced.’
And the Republican senator from Utah acknowledged he expected to feel the president’s wrath for his decision.
‘I’m aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters I will be vehemently denounced. I’m sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters.
‘Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before god demanded it of me?,’ he said.
The President has already issued his own attacks on Romney.
‘Had failed presidential candidate @MittRomney devoted the same energy and anger to defeating a faltering Barack Obama as he sanctimoniously does to me, he could have won the election,’ Trump tweeted Thursday.
He also tweeted a video accusing the Utah senator of being a ‘Democrat secret asset’ and criticized him for his failed 2008 presidential campaign.
Trump then dedicated part of his address at the National Prayer Breakfast to trashing Romney, though he made no mention of the senator’s name.
‘I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say I pray for you when they know that’s not so. So many people have been hurt, and we can’t let that go on. I will be discussing that a little bit later at the White House,’ he said.