Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday that he does not support using the 25th Amendment to oust President Trump, but pleaded for the president’s top advisers to stay on the job to ensure an orderly transition to President-elect Joseph R. Biden.
He said White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and top lawyer Pat Cipollone have assured him the transition is on pace, and he said Americans should be thankful for the service of those kinds of aides who are helping shepherd this president to the end.
He also shot down Mr. Trump’s continued complaints about the election, saying the issues were litigated in the states and “not one judge anywhere in the land accepted the accusations to be legitimate.”
“This needs to end,” Mr. Graham said.
Mr. Trump is slated to leave office Jan. 20, top Democrats said Thursday they want him out sooner. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Senate Democrat Charles E. Schumer both said they want Vice President Mike Pence to flex the 25th Amendment and move to have Mr. Trump declared too infirm to serve.
Mr. Graham said that’s not a good option.
“I do not believe that’s appropriate at this point. I’m looking for a peaceful transfer of power,” the South Carolina Republican told reporters.
Mr. Graham has become a close adviser to Mr. Trump, but he said Mr. Trump’s rally Wednesday did help fuel the atmosphere that led to the attack on the Capitol.
He called for a law enforcement task force to identify and track down every person who was part of the assault, saying there are “thousands” whose identities can be learned from video.
The senator said, though, that Democrats who are now calling for prosecutions should have done the same to racial justice rioters who disrupted some American cities last summer.
For his part, Mr. Graham said he was visited by FBI agents earlier Thursday who asked if his Capitol Hill home had video that might be helpful in pursuing prosecutions.
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