Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made himself clear on Sunday during an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“The whole process [against President Donald Trump] is illegitimate in the House,” said the senator.
“It’s not just the whistleblower. You don’t want to create a situation where an anonymous person can start impeachment proceedings against the president of the United States. You can’t get a parking ticket based on that anonymous allegation.”
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“The hearings were held behind closed doors,” he continued. “The [House] Intel Committee gathered all the facts. The president’s lawyer was never allowed to participate. They asked to call witnesses in the [House] Judiciary Committee. They had one hearing in the committee with four law professors and [after that] [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi said, ‘We’re going to move forward with articles of impeachment.'”
“This is a joke of a process.”
“It’s dangerous to the country,” added Graham.
He also said, “This is being driven by [Rep. Adam] Schiff [of California] and [Rep. Jerry] Nadler [of New Jersey], Pelosi — partisan people.”
“I think it’s going to meet a quick end in the Senate,” he also predicted.
— GOP (@GOP) December 8, 2019
A new day of hearings is set to begin on Monday, December 9, at 9 a.m. ET, but there will be no outside witnesses as such. Instead, Democratic leadership is set to feature presentations from staff counsels for both parties on the House Intelligence and House Judiciary committees.
Democrats appear to be eyeing a vote on articles of impeachment before Christmas, as The Hill noted — so the House Judiciary Committee “could move as soon as later next week” on sending those articles to the floor for consideration.
Bartiromo asked Graham that if the matter does wind up going a trial in the Senate, “Who are some of the people you are going to want to hear from?” She added, “And will the president get a fair trial? Are you going to demand that people like the whistleblower, Adam Schiff, Alexandra Chalupa [a former DNC contractor and staffer], Fusion GPS — are these some of the people or organizations you’re going to want to question?”
Graham said that there are “two ways to do this. In the trial you can have the president present a defense to prove, in fact, that maybe the [county of] Ukraine was interfering in our election. The Russians stole the emails, not the Ukraine — but there’s articles suggesting Ukrainian officials met with Democratic operatives in 2016.”
“I don’t know if that’s true,” he went on, “but here’s what I’m going to do with the trial. I’m going to try to get this over as quickly as possible, listen to … the House case, let them present their case, and if there’s nothing new and dramatic, I would be ready to vote and we can do all this other stuff through congressional oversight.”
“So, are you saying you’re not going to have people come down and testify?” Bartiromo asked in a follow-up.
Graham replied, “I am saying that I’m going to end this as quickly as I can for the good of the country. When 51 of us say we’ve heard enough, the trial is going to end. The president’s going to be acquitted. He may want to call Schiff. He may want to call Hunter Biden. He may want to call Joe Biden. But here’s my advice to the president. If the Senate is ready to vote and ready to acquit you, you should celebrate that — and we can look at this other stuff outside of impeachment.”
“Impeachment is tearing the country apart. I don’t want to give it any more credibility than it deserves.”
Later on in the interview, Graham also said, “Because I’m not going to participate in things I think will destroy the country. I’m not going to call a bunch of House members to come to the Senate as part of oversight. Now, if you’re a House member and you participated, you’re not subject — you’re not above the law, but we’re not going to turn the Senate into a circus, and I would tell Schiff what you’re doing is very dangerous for separation of powers here.”
He added, “Adam Schiff is doing a lot of damage to the country and he needs to stop. Mueller spent two years and $25 million looking at Trump. This whole Ukrainian stuff is a joke. They got the money [meaning the military aid]. They got the meeting with the president. They didn’t investigate Joe Biden or Hunter Biden.”
“There is no ‘there’ there.”
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