Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has retracted his previous condemnation of the events of January 6th, a sign of Donald Trump’s increasing popularity ahead of 2024.
Despite having been an on-and-off supporter for years, Graham had almost cut ties with Trump following the Capitol riot. However, in a recent interview with CBS, he defended Trump and stated he has a “legitimate claim” to dismiss criminal charges.
Graham suggested that Trump was carrying out his official duty to ensure the legitimacy of the 2020 election results.
“Yeah, it depends on what the conduct is,” Graham told Face the Nation.
“Now, if you’re doing your job as president — and January the sixth, he was still president trying to find out if the election, you know, was on the up and up — I think his immunity claim, I don’t know how it will bear out, but I think it’s a legitimate claim,” Graham continued.
Graham said Trump is being prosecuted for his passionate rhetoric – “giving a fiery speech” – and not his actions.
“They’re prosecuting him for activity around January the sixth. He didn’t break into the Capitol. He gave a fiery speech, but he’s not the first guy to ever do that,” Graham said.
Graham predicted that the trial will be postponed beyond the election due to the intricate legal matters associated with the first prosecution of a U.S. President.
“So at the end of the day, I think this case will not go to trial before the election. I think there are more legal issues around this than you can even imagine about — what can a president do as president? What are the limitations of being president?”
It’s a seismic shift from nearly three years ago, when Republicans – including Graham – made a half-hearted attempt to wash their hands of Trump.
“Count me out. Enough is enough,” Graham said at the time. “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected, and will become the president and the vice president of the United States on January 20th.”
It appears that Graham has been monitoring the Republican primary, and he is cognizant of the fact that Trump is likely to be the party’s nominee for president in 2024.