During a segment on Fox News Sunday Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned that the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump may have “opened Pandora’s Box,” and could even result in impeachment being used against other elected officials. He was actually quite specific and suggested that Vice President Kamala Harris could find herself facing an impeachment if the GOP takes back the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterm elections.
“And if you use this model, I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House,” Graham explained, when referring to the fact the Harris supported a fund to bail out protesters in the summer of 2020.
“Because she actually bailed out rioters and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody’s head open,” Graham added. “So we’ve opened Pandora’s Box here and I’m sad for the country?”
As should be apparent, Graham was expressing a valid concern that impeachment could be overused against elected officials, but it was far from a call for impeachment against Harris.
However, it didn’t take long for many on social media to react, and there were soon accusations that Sen. Graham did in fact call for the impeachment of the sitting vice president.
MORE FOR YOU
It is almost as if those who were quick to respond misheard what Sen. Graham was saying. As noted by the tweets above however, many on social media seemed to think Graham was calling for – even threatening and promising – the impeachment of Harris. Clearly they missed the point about him expressing sadness for our country.
What is actually sadder is that this is just the latest example of misinformation spreading on social media – something those on both sides are routinely guilty of committing.
Moreover, if you look at the tweets it also suggests that many who commented don’t understand that Graham, as a sitting U.S. senator, doesn’t have sway over what House Republicans may or may not do. It is the House of Representatives not the United States Senate that brings forth articles of impeachment, while the Senate conducts an impeachment trial.
Then there were of course others that attempted to fan the flames.
“Beto O’Rourke told us this would happen if Trump got away with a second acquittal. When are we going to listen,” pondered on user.
Except that is another misunderstanding of the situation. The former Democratic congressman from Texas is a private citizen now, not an elected official. While his opinions may carry as much as any other political pundit today, such statements seems that O’Rourke predicted that the GOP would seek revenge isn’t exactly all that prophetic. There are always partisan calls for impeachment.
What is also upsetting is that some in the media took part in the spread of misinformation – rather than trying to address those important facts.
Political commentator and podcaster Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) tweeted, “Graham threatens to impeach Kamala Harris for having posted a link to bail out protestors in an effort to ‘both sides’ Trump’s impeachment. But by that logic, if she SHOULD be impeached and if what Trump and Kamala did was EQUIVALENT, why didn’t Graham vote to convict Trump?”
Author and political scientist Seth Masket (@smotus) shared a similar sentiment, “Graham: This was a reckless use of the impeachment process which should only be used in the most dire of circumstances and also we’re totally coming for Kamala Harris in 2023 just cuz.”
It should be added that both of those tweets actually responded to a previous post that included video, which made the context quite clear.
Calls From The Right
However, many on the right also quickly took up the call that Vice President Harris should be impeached, again missing the point of Graham’s concern.
The takeaway is that far from healing the nation, the second impeachment trial has resulted in both sides digging in – while misinformation and distrust continues to spread.
Political reporter Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) was among those who also saw that both sides have responded with venom following the second impeachment trial of former President Trump, tweeting, “A nation healed” clearly mocking those who suggested that the trial was necessary for the nation to move forward.