Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on Sunday his hopes of a pre-trial dismissal of the Democratic Party’s impeachment case against President Donald Trump is unlikely.
“Yeah that’s dead for practical purposes,” Graham said. “There are a lot of senators who I think will end up acquitting the president who believe that we need to hear the House’s case, the president’s case — answer to the House’s case and ask questions.
The idea of dismissing the case early on is not going to happen; we don’t have the votes for that,” he added.
The powerful chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Graham appeared on “Fox News Sunday” and referred to impeachment as a “partisan railroad job,” saying it’s the “first impeachment in history where there was no allegation of a crime by the president.”
Host Chris Wallace used Graham’s stance in 1999 during the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton to ask about calling witnesses.
“Why were witnesses OK then, but over the line now?” Wallace asked.
After noting that the House did not call the witnesses Senate Democrats want to call, Graham cited the likelihood of Trump asserting executing privilege, slamming House Democrats for their efforts.
“What they’re doing here is they’ve got a railroad job in the House and they’re trying to fix it in the Senate, and I’m not going to be part of that,” he said.
The senator also said that Democrats “literally impeached President Trump because he wanted to exercise executive privilege,” this being a reference to the obstruction of Congress article.
In effect, Graham said Democrats would “destroy executive privilege” with the tactics they are trying to employ.
Wallace noted that Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Mitt Romney, R-Utah; and Susan Collins, R-Maine, are among a small group of Republicans open to the idea of calling new witnesses, saying Democrats need just four GOP defections to succeed here.
He then asked Graham if he believes the Senate will ultimately call witnesses.
“If we call one witness, we’re going to call all the witnesses,” Graham responded. “There’s not going to be a process where the Democrats get their witnesses and the president gets shut out.”
He suggested that chief among the defense witnesses would be Hunter Biden.
Graham then states that his goal is to bring the process to a quick end, given that the 2020 presidential election is just months away.
“I want this trial to get over as quick as possible,” he said. “I want the people of the United States to pick the next president, not a court of impeachment.”
To the possibility of Senate Democrats complaining about a rush to get the trial over with, Graham references Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her mad rush to impeach Trump.
“I like Nancy Pelosi. I have known her for years and I think she is a very religious person,” he said. “When it comes to Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi may pray privately, but she has orchestrated the church of holy hell.”
“The sooner this is over the better for the country,” Graham concluded.
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