Lindsey Graham Says 'Not Guilty' Impeachment Vote 'Growing' After New Footage Played at Trial

Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham on Wednesday night said that the number of "not guilty" votes in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is "growing." Graham's comments came hours after Democratic House impeachment managers played graphic, never-before-seen video footage from the violent riot that broke out at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

"The 'Not Guilty' vote is growing after today," Graham wrote in a Wednesday evening tweet. "I think most Republicans found the presentation by the House Managers offensive and absurd."

"We all know what happened in the Capitol was terrible. I hope everybody involved that broke into the Capitol goes to jail," the senator added in an appearance on Fox News' Hannity.

During the show, Graham and host Sean Hannity argued that past statements made by Democratic politicians in support of racial justice and Black Lives Matter protestors during the 2020 nationwide uprisings against police brutality were themselves incitements to riot, the very thing Democrats have accused Trump of.

Graham called Democrats hypocrites for not speaking out against activists who demonstrated outside of his home in September 2020, and outside of Susan Collins' home in December 2017 and October 2018, comparing their actions to that of the insurrectionists.

Lindsey Graham impeachment trial not guilty votes
Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has said that he thinks the number of "not guilty" votes in the Senate impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump have likely "grown" after House impeachment managers played never-before-seen footage of moments captured during the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. In this December 20, 2018 photo, Graham speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty

Graham also told Hannity that he remained unconvinced by arguments made by House Managers of Trump's ties to the Proud Boys, a self-described "male chauvinist" group that the FBI has described as "an extremist right-wing group." Trump infamously told the group to "stand back and stand by" during a 2020 presidential debate in September when asked to denounce white supremacy.

Democrats highlighted the role that Proud Boys played during the insurrection. At least seven Proud Boys have been charged with participating in the January 6 riots so far. But Graham criticized the alleged connection. At least one Proud Boy who has been arrested said he was acting under Trump's orders.

"The managers have got this cockamamie idea, an absurd theory that Donald Trump was monitoring the Proud Boys website and other far-right websites and he and [former White House Deputy Chief of Staff] Dan Scavino knew this was going to happen and they encouraged it. That is Looney Tunes," Graham said.

Graham also said that Democrats' beliefs that Trump incited the insurrection with his January 6 speech and that the insurrection was organized for weeks before it occurred were contradictory.

Trump's re-election campaign paid more than $2.7 million to several individuals and firms who helped to organize the "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the violent January 6 insurrection, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

But Graham, Hannity and Trump's impeachment lawyers remain unmoved by Democratic attempts to connect Trump's public statements to inciting a riot, even with the new video footage of the riots.

"I didn't learn anything that I didn't already know," Trump attorney Bruce Castor told reporters on Wednesday after seeing the new footage. "We know a mob breached the Capitol and wreaked havoc in the building. I'm waiting for them to connect that up to President Trump, and so far that hasn't happened."

Newsweek contacted Graham's office for comment.