Politics

Lindsey Graham Reminds the Nation: ‘Whistleblower’ Charges Are ‘All Hearsay’

Republican senator from South Carolina takes issue with the House Democrats' furious rush to an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump based on problematic material

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he has issues with the so-called whistleblower’s complaint against President Donald Trump — saying in a Sunday interview that the accusations against the president for his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky are “all hearsay.”

Related: Trump Lashes Out at Democrats

“This seems to me like a political set-up,” Graham declared on “Face the Nation” on CBS.

“It’s all hearsay. You can’t get a parking ticket conviction based on hearsay.”

“The whistleblower didn’t hear the phone call.”

During a much longer phone call, Trump had asked Zelensky to look into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, for their activities with Ukraine — known to be ripe with corruption.

Joe Biden acknowledged and even bragged on camera last year that when he was vice president, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings — a company for which Hunter Biden worked (he sat on the board and was paid handsome sums of money to do so).

Shokin himself had been widely accused of corruption, as Fox News and other outlets noted.

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The White House released a transcript of the president’s phone call in the interests of transparency.

And while the transcript shows Trump asking Ukraine to “look into” the Bidens, it does not show the president explicitly linking that request to any U.S. aid.

“This whole thing is a sham,” Graham insisted on Sunday.

“Who is this whistleblower?” he asked — which conservative pundit Mark Levin and others have asked as well. “What bias do they have? Why did they pick this whistleblower to tell a hearsay story? The transcript does not match the complaint.”

Graham added in no uncertain terms, “This thing stinks.”

He also said, “I have zero problems with this phone call. There’s no quid pro quo here … But I do have a problem with Nancy Pelosi. If you believe that Donald Trump did something to hurt this country, you owe [it] to vote, not talk about impeaching the president.”

Many conservatives have asked for much more information about this so-called whistleblower, a person whom The New York Times identified as a CIA operative of some type.

The whistleblower has been said to have political bias against Trump.

Is it any wonder Trump and those close to him are up in arms over the House Democrats’ frenzied rush toward an impeachment inquiry based on this?

Meanwhile, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee and one of the Democrats leading the impeachment charge, is looking for campaign donations.

Schiff outrageously made up his own version of what he thinks — what he imagined — the president said during that July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Schiff entered his own parody version into the congressional record last week and shared it as if it were true — except that it’s not.

Related: Adam Schiff ‘Should Be in Jail’

But that hasn’t stopped Schiff — who insisted for more than two years that Trump colluded with Russians in order to win election in 2016, ultimately proven to be false — from seeking public support.

On Friday, Schiff sent out a tweet essentially begging for money from those who support him.

He wrote, “President Trump just demanded I resign from Congress. But I won’t listen.”

“There’s nothing he or his right-wing allies can do to stop me from holding him accountable and seeking the truth,” he added.

Then came this: “Pitch in to my campaign if you’re with me,” he concluded on Twitter.

The New York Post shared the details of Schiff’s tweet and reached out to the Schiff office for comment but did not hear back.

Many politicians are raising money right now on both sides of the aisle and mentioning “impeachment” in their donation asks.

But this is not the first time Schiff has solicited money to help defeat or push back on Donald Trump.

He’s done it previously — and people have called him on it. One person wrote back to him last year on Twitter and said, “What will you do with this money?”

Here’s that person’s tweet:

Many other people are pushing back on Schiff.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) on Friday introduced a resolution in the House condemning and censuring Schiff for his remarks in the televised hearing on Thursday in which the Democrat created and read his “parody” version of Trump’s phone call.

Schiff “read a statement that was blatantly false, had no corresponding evidence, nor relationship to the actual transcript of President Trump’s conversation,” Biggs said in a video posted to Twitter, as NBC News and other outlets reported.

“What the chairman did is he read something that was made-up, totally false, and later had to excuse it by saying it was a parody,” said Biggs.

Schiff first opened the Thursday hearing with the presence of the acting director of national intelligence, James Maguire — and Schiff then dove in to what he later called a “parody.”

And here’s what Trump had to say about it:

Here is part of Schiff’s parody of Trump: “We’ve been very good to your country, very good,” he began, as if he were Trump talking.

“No other country has done as much as we have, but you know what? I don’t see much reciprocity here,” he continued. “I hear what you want, I have a favor I want from you, though, and I’m gonna say this only seven times, so you better listen good. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand, lots of it.”

Related: Schiff Must Resign, Say Many, After His ‘Impeachment Stunt’

Schiff then emphasized he was illustrating a point.

“This is in some [measure] what the president was trying to communicate with the president of Ukraine,” claimed Schiff. “It would be funny if it wasn’t such a graphic betrayal of the president’s oath of office.”

The resolution by Biggs, the new head of the House Freedom Caucus, states that Schiff’s comments were an “egregiously false and fabricated retelling” that “had no relationship to the call itself,” as The Hill pointed out. He alleged that “these actions of Chairman Schiff misled the American people, bring disrepute upon the House of Representatives, and make a mockery of the impeachment process, one of this chamber’s most solemn constitutional duties.”

The Biggs resolution also contains language alleging that members of the House Intelligence Committee “have lost faith” in Schiff’s ability to be objective as chairman — and that his remarks hampered the committee’s ability to carry out oversight responsibilities.

The Schiff comments have continued to prompt outrage. Among other comments, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called out Schiff for his use of “fake dialogue” to describe the president’s phone call.

Online readers have been reacting as well. One wrote, “Schiff should be in jail” for his behavior.

Another said, “It may very well be that it is time for the American people to exercise our duty to the Constitution and protect our country from domestic enemies!”

“This man has sold his soul to try and impeach our president with made-up lies,” said another about Schiff.

The president is pushing back hard on the activities of Schiff, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and others who are trying to negate the results of the 2016 election.

See this tweet by Trump and other tweets — and share your thoughts on all of this.

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