February 28, 2021

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Lindsey Graham warns that Kamala Harris could be impeached if Republicans win House next year – San Francisco Chronicle

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Senator Lindsey Graham warned Sunday that if Republicans take control of the House of Representatives in next year’s mid-term elections, Vice President Kamala Harris could face impeachment for her tweet supporting a bail fund for Black Lives Matter protesters over the summer.

Speaking in an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” a day after the U.S. Senate acquitted President Trump, the South Carolina Republican said the former president’s impeachment trial, brought forth because of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots, “opened Pandora’s Box.”

“If you use this model, I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House, because she actually bailed out rioters…,” Graham said of the former California senator from Oakland. “So we’ve opened Pandora’s Box here, and I’m sad for the country.”

Like many pro-Trump Republicans, Graham appeared to be equating the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol last month with last summer’s racial injustice protests, two very different events rooted in opposing movements.

On June 1, Harris tweeted a link to a fundraiser for the Minnesota Freedom Fund and asked her followers to chip in to help post bail for protesters in the city following outrage over the police killing of George Floyd. Video captured the incident in which Floyd, who was Black, gasped for breath, handcuffed on the ground, as an officer pressed a knee on his neck on May 25.

The Black Lives Matter movement demands an end to systemic racism that often disproportionately takes the lives of Black people. Small fragments of last year’s nationwide protests included violence but the movement was largely peaceful — though scenes of looting and fires drew media and public attention. A recent Princeton University study said that 93% of the 7,760 demonstrations linked to the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 were peaceful.

The Capitol riots by Trump supporters aimed to overturn a free election by attacking an American institution, and took the lives of five people including one police officer. Trump’s supporters turned up at his behest to “fight like hell,” after he stated more than once that he’d fraudulently lost the election, birthing countless conspiracy theories.

Some Republicans have drawn a false equivalency between the two events. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia focused on violence in last summer’s civil rights protests during the House impeachment proceedings.

Graham has spoken of the possibility of impeaching Harris before, bringing it up earlier this month in an interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity. The senator’s office did not return requests for comment.

Shwanika Narayan is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: shwanika.narayan@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @shwanika Instagram: @shwanika

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