Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, suggested Friday the president was being persecuted by Democrats — not prosecuted — in the House lawmakers’ impeachment crusade.
The South Carolina Republican took to Twitter Friday and asked what the difference was between prosecution and persecution.
“When @SpeakerPelosi drives a highly partisan process devoid of due process denying the president his day in court and trampling on the constitutional separation of powers,” Mr. Graham followed up, answering the question he posed.
Mr. Graham added, “When the Senate Minority Leader insists on denying President @realDonaldTrump the ability to go to court and exercise Executive Privilege regarding Senate Democrats’ witness lists.”
His comments come after House Democrats passed two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The party-line vote arose after a roughly three-month inquiry into a phone call Mr. Trump had with the Ukrainian president where he requested a probe into his political rival, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden while withholding military aid.
Republicans have argued House Democrats could have gone to court to subpoena documents and witnesses but did not — saying the president has a right to refuse to comply.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is negotiating procedures for the impeachment trial with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer. A trial cannot begin until Mrs. Pelosi transmits the articles of impeachment to the upper chamber, but thus far she has decided to withhold them.
Democrats have said the articles are being withheld until Republicans guarantee a fair trial in the Senate, which includes calls for more witness testimony.
Mr. Graham called on both Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer to “end this debacle” and “stop playing games with the presidency.”
Mrs. Pelosi also took to Twitter on Friday, sharing a nearly three-minute video compiled by liberal advocates that shows several witnesses testifying before House lawmakers against Mr. Trump.
“The facts are clear and every witness told the same story, despite the President’s attempts to cover it up. President Trump abused his power for his own personal gain. #DefendOurDemocracy,” Mrs. Pelosi tweeted.
Meanwhile, Ralph Nader, an independent political activist, has written a letter to both Mr. McConnell and Ms. Pelosi suggesting Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who will preside over the impeachment trial, set the procedures.
He says both Republicans and Democrats have shown themselves to be impartial, suggesting Justice Roberts can find a compromise.
“We are convinced that only the Chief Justice can rescue the impeachment trial from the taint of partisanship that would destroy the legitimacy of the outcome,” Mr. Nader said in a letter sent by his group, In the Public Interest.