Any way the wind blows
A week ago, as the Senate returned to work after what's looking more and more like a planned assault on the Capitol and Congress by supporters of President Trump, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he was done with Trump. "Trump and I, we've had a hell of a journey," he said. "I hate it to end the way. Oh my God, I hate it." After Wednesday's siege, "all I can say is count me out, enough is enough," Graham added, and it's time to acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden's victory and stop the madness.
But it turns out, it didn't end that way. On Tuesday, a few days after being harassed by Trump supporters upset he acknowledged Biden's win, Graham accompanied the president down to Alamo, Texas, on Air Force One. Now he's "one of Trump's few confidants" left, The Washington Post reported Wednesday night. Graham "broke with the president last week over attempts to overturn the election only to be welcomed back in the president's good graces a couple of days later," and now he's leading the lobbying effort to convince his fellow GOP senators not to convict Trump in his impeachment trial.
When news broke that the No. 3 House Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), would vote too impeach Trump, Graham recounted to the Post, "I just told him, 'Listen, Mr. President, there are some people out there who were upset before and are upset now, but I assure you, most Republicans believe impeachment is bad for the country and not necessary and it would do damage to the institution of the presidency itself."
"The reality is that the GOP base is still firmly behind Trump," says Politico's Andrew Desiderio, but if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) "votes to convict — which is now more of a possibility than it was before today — then I think it’s nearly certain that 17+ Republicans will vote to convict," which would be enough.