“Does the president [of the United States] have something to worry about in terms of that phone call he had with the leader of Ukraine?” asked anchor Maria Bartiromo on Sunday morning of Sen. Lindsey Graham on her program, “Sunday Morning Futures” on the Fox News Channel.
Graham (shown above left, beside Attorney General Bill Barr) is chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Replied Graham in no uncertain terms, “I think every president would have a lot to worry about if this phone call is handled the way they’re talking about. Can you imagine future presidents having a phone call with a foreign leader and it winds up going to Congress?” he added. “If that’s not an executive privilege moment, I don’t know what would be.”
The GOP senator also said, “So the foreign minister of the Ukraine said there’s no pressure. They have got the money. Nothing’s happened. But here’s something that really did surprise me. [Former Vice President] Joe Biden said everybody’s looked at this and found nothing. Who is everybody? Nobody’s looked at the Ukraine and the Bidens,” added Graham. “Nobody’s looked at the role the Ukraine played in the 2016 election. Do you think the media in America would really look at it and report on it if there was something bad for the Bidens or [that] they unduly interfered in the 2016 election?”
On Sunday morning — just to add more texture and an update here — President Donald Trump hit back at 2020 Democratic front-runner Joe Biden about the growing controversy over a whistleblower complaint.
Trump maintains there is nothing wrong with a phone call he had with a world leader. “It was a perfect call, a perfect call,” Trump told members of the press on Sunday morning. “What wasn’t perfect is the horrible thing that Joe Biden said [over the weekend]. And now he made a lie when he said he never spoke to his son. I mean, give me a break. He’s already said he spoke to his son,” added Trump. “And now he said yesterday very firmly [that he didn’t] … He made the mistake of saying he never spoke to his son [about this]. He spoke to his son.”
“But, more importantly, what he said about the billions of dollars that he wouldn’t give them unless they fired the prosecutor — and then he bragged about how they fired the prosecutor, and then they got the money,” said Trump.
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The president is referencing the following remarks Biden made over the weekend about this issue: “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” said Biden in response to a reporter. “Here is what I know,” added Biden, changing the subject. “I know Trump deserves to be investigated. He’s violating every basic norm of a president. You should be asking him the question, why is he on the phone with a foreign leader trying to intimidate a foreign leader, if that’s what happened? That appears [to be] what happened,” he continued. “You should be looking at Trump.”
And then Biden added the tough-guy commentary he’s been known for over the years: “Trump … is doing this because he knows I will beat him like a drum, and he’s using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me. Everybody looked at this, and everybody who has looked at it said there’s nothing there. Ask the right question,” finished Biden.
Many publications have been saying the whistleblower’s actions were prompted by a July phone call at the White House, during which Trump allegedly asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, over his Ukrainian business dealings.
An unknown whistleblower apparently brought the call to the attention of Congress — and now there are demands by many in Washington, D.C., for Trump to release the transcript of that call.
Many Democrats in Congress are now also saying this is an impeachable offense.
“So here’s what I’m calling on, calling for,” announced Graham to Bartiromo about all of this on Sunday morning. “I’m calling for somebody in the Justice Department to look at all things Ukraine.”
“We have looked at all things Russia and Trump, his family, everything about his family, every transaction between the Trump campaign and Russia,” said Graham. “Now it’s time to see whether or not the Ukrainians released information regarding [Paul] Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager. What relationships, if any, did the Biden world have to the Ukraine? What role, if any, did Ukraine play in the 2016 election? So nobody’s looked at this, but somebody should. So I’m hoping the Department of Justice will look at the Biden-Ukraine connection, like we looked at the Trump-Russia connection.”
“So you’re calling for an investigation by the DOJ into Ukraine and its dealings [with] the United States?” asked Bartiromo to clarify.
“Absolutely,” replied Graham. “Can you imagine if this was the Trump family doing business like this? So I like Joe Biden,” added the senator, stressing that this isn’t a personal matter. “I like him a lot. But you can’t have it both ways here. They have done everything but turn the Trump world upside down. When it comes to this president, there are no rules, including a phone call,” added Graham. “Everything is fair game when it comes to Trump. There are no privileges.”
“What role, if any, did the Bidens have to the Ukraine? Was it proper? Was it not?” said Graham.
“So what I’m asking for,” he continued, “is for us to take some time and effort to look at what Ukraine may have done in the 2016 election. What role, if any, did the Bidens have to the Ukraine? Was it proper? Was it not?”
“I promise you,” he added, however, that “the American media is not going to look at it. I’m hoping [somebody] at the Department of Justice will do for the Biden-Ukraine connection what we did for the Trump-Russia connection.”
Stay tuned for more on this issue in the coming days — and share your thoughts below.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) September 22, 2019