Sen. Lindsey Graham may consider former Vice President Joe Biden a “friend,” but he still believes there should be an investigation into his actions related to Ukraine.
The South Carolina Republican spoke with Fox News host Martha MacCallum amid the fallout surrounding Biden’s involvement in the current controversy over Ukraine, saying he would like a probe into whether there was a conflict of interest with the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate’s past actions.
(Video: Fox News)
Graham called out Biden’s intervention in Ukraine when he was in the Obama administration in a discussion on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” Wednesday about the release of the transcript of a phone call President Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky back in July.
The transcript, released Wednesday, threw cold water on the fire the left was lighting under Trump in the wake of a whistleblower report last week alleging he made a “promise” to Zelensky as he urged him to investigate Biden’s son Hunter who, since 2014 when his father was vice president, served on the board of a gas company in the nation.
Biden admitted on camera last year that he strong-armed then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 when he was serving as vice president, recounting how he threatened that the administration would pull U.S. aid if Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin was not immediately fired. Shokin, at the time, was conducting a corruption probe of the natural gas company that employed Biden’s son.
Critics relentlessly attacked Trump over the call and its alleged contents while ignoring the reported wrong-doings by Biden, who denied ever speaking to his son about his business in Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Graham joined the many other supporters of Trump to question the double standard when it comes to Biden.
“It troubles me that Joe Biden, the vice president of the United States, threatened to cut off aid to Ukraine without disclosing a conflict,” he told MacCallum.
“There was a letter sent by Democratic senators in May 2018 threatening Ukraine to cut off aid if they did not investigate Trump. You’re going to hear a lot more about this conflict,” he added
“A quid pro quo is if you do not do what I want, I’m going to punish you. Read this transcript. No rational person would conclude that the president of the United States was threatening to cut off aid to Ukraine unless they did something against Joe Biden and his son. The truth of the matter is, there was a conflict regarding the firing of the prosecutor and if it had been a Republican who had done this, it would be front-page news,” he said.
MacCallum asked the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman if he would be opening an investigation into Biden.
“I like Joe Biden, he’s a good friend of mine,” he replied. “I really honestly do like him, but somebody has to look at this conflict and I would like somebody outside of politics. I don’t want to turn the Senate into the circus that the House has become.”
“I want somebody to look at whether or not there was a conflict of interest involved in Joe Biden asking for the Ukrainian prosecutor to be fired. I want somebody to look at whether or not the $1.5 billion given to the Hunter Biden private equity account from China was on the up-and-up,” Graham added.
“I think these are serious problems — I’m not accusing anybody of wrongdoing. I’m accusing the system of losing its way here. Somebody needs to look at these allegations. Trump has been looked at every way you can be looked at,” he said.
“Somebody needs to look at the conflict of interest here and at the end of the day, if you believe this is an impeachable offense or troubling, do something about it, to my House colleagues. You owe it to American people to vote as to whether or not you believe this is an impeachable offense,” he added.
Graham also expressed his disbelief that Democrats “would talk about impeaching this president based on the transcript of this phone call,” echoing remarks he made earlier to reporters calling the move “insane.”
He also took to Twitter to call out how there was “no ‘there’ there.”
Wow. Impeachment over this?
What a nothing (non-quid pro quo) burger.
Democrats have lost their minds when it comes to President @realDonaldTrump.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 25, 2019
The GOP lawmaker also shot down a reporter’s question about whether it was “appropriate” for Trump to ask the Ukrainian president to investigate a potential political rival, a question he was similarly asked by MacCallum.
“I don’t know what you looked at,” Graham replied. “I think it’s very appropriate for the president of the United States to suggest that you had a corruption problem and the prosecutor that was fired maybe was because he was corrupt or maybe because he was looking — looking at something close to America here.”
“From my point of view Joe Biden is a decent guy but there is a conflict here,” Graham added.
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