Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: Lawmakers weigh in on Trump impeachment trial; Biden administration eyes timeline for mass vaccinations The five GOP senators who voted to call witnesses Graham says he’ll meet with Trump to discuss GOP’s future MORE (R-S.C.) predicted former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden on Trump acquittal: ‘Substance of the charge is not in dispute’ North Carolina GOP condemns Burr for impeachment vote against Trump Toomey on Trump vote: ‘His betrayal of the Constitution’ required conviction MORE‘s daughter-in-law Lara TrumpLara TrumpMadison Cawthorn throws support behind Mark Walker in NC Senate primary ‘Purple America’ will set political direction in 2022 Democrats will expand their Senate majority in 2022 MORE will benefit from his second acquittal in an impeachment trial this weekend.
“The biggest winner of this whole impeachment trial is Lara Trump,” Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.” “My dear friend Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrNorth Carolina GOP condemns Burr for impeachment vote against Trump Toomey on Trump vote: ‘His betrayal of the Constitution’ required conviction Trump conviction vote exposes GOP divide MORE, who I like and have been friends to a long time, just made Lara Trump almost the certain nominee for the Senate seat in North Carolina to replace him if she runs, and I certainly will be behind her because she represents the future of the Republican Party.”
Burr, a Republican who is retiring, voted to convict former President Trump on Saturday on the sole article of inciting an insurrection on the U.S. Capitol earlier this year.
“The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against a coequal branch of government and that the charge rises to the level of high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” Burr said in a statement Saturday. “Therefore, I have voted to convict.”
The North Carolina GOP hours later condemned Burr, aligning itself with the former president.
“North Carolina Republicans sent Senator Burr to the United States Senate to uphold the Constitution and his vote today to convict in a trial that he declared unconstitutional is shocking and disappointing,” the party chairman said.
The state’s other Republican senator, Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSenators, impeachment teams scramble to cut deal on witnesses LIVE COVERAGE: Senate trial moves to closing arguments Madison Cawthorn throws support behind Mark Walker in NC Senate primary MORE, narrowly won reelection in 2020 and voted to acquit the former president.
A poll taken late last year showed Lara Trump as the favorite among possible Republican primary candidates to fill Burr’s vacant seat. She is married to the former president’s son Eric and was a top surrogate for both his 2016 and 2020 campaigns.
Graham, a leading Trump loyalist in the Republican caucus, also said on Sunday that Congress has “opened a Pandora’s box to future presidents” and “abused” the model of the legislative branch’s check on the executive branch.
“I don’t know how [Vice President] Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House because she actually bailed out rioters, and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody’s head open,” Graham said in an apparent reference to protests for social justice that took place over the summer.