Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News on Thursday that he’s eager to get the Senate impeachment trial under way, and he doesn’t need any witnesses to do it.
“What I would imagine would happen, what I would like to see happen for this thing to get over as soon as possible. I don’t want to give it any legitimacy, because it’s a crock. I trusted Mueller to look at all things trump and Russia. He did for two years and took no action,” Graham said in an interview with “America’s Newsroom.”
“Every impeachment except this one has been conducted by outside counsel – Ken Starr and Clinton. The Watergate prosecutors found misconduct by President Nixon. This is being driven by Democratic partisans. It’s being rushed. There’s no due process,” he said.
The senator accused House Democrats of abuse of power.
“Abuse of power, if you are looking for it, my Democrat house colleagues, look in the mirror,” he said.
“So here’s what’s going to happen. I hope we’ll look at the record they used to impeach the president. If they get 218 votes. That will be the trial record. Let the House managers present their case. Let the president’s lawyers comment on the House case. Then vote,” Graham said.
“I don’t have any desire to call the vice president. I don’t have any desire to call Pompeo, Hunter Biden or Joe Biden. We can look at the Biden affair outside of impeachment. My goal is to end this as soon as possible for the good of the country, because I think it’s a danger to the presidency to legitimize this,” he said.
When asked whether that means no witnesses at all, Graham said, “I don’t need any witnesses at all. I am ready to go.”
As to what the timeframe will be for a Senate trial, the senator said, “It’s closer to a week for sure.”“How long does it take for the House to appear before the Senate to go over the evidence they used to impeach the president in the House? The trial record should be the documents they use for impeachment in the House – no more, no less. I’m not interested in any witnesses,” he said.
“This thing is a sham, a crock. I don’t want to legitimize it. I want to get it over with, and there’s plenty of ways to do oversight outside of impeachment when it comes to corruption in Ukraine, and we will,” Graham added.
He said the identity of the whistleblower needs to be known, “but when it comes to the trial itself, the country needs to get it over with.”
“The Senate needs to move on to things that matter to the American people. We need to get this cloud removed from President Trump. It is a joke. I did trust Mueller to be fair. He found nothing actionable. I do not trust Nadler, Schiff and Pelosi to be fair. They’re being driven by the most radical people in the country,” Graham said.
“So as to the whistleblower, I think it is important that we find out who this person is that started this whole charade, but when it comes to extending the trial, I’m not in the extending the trial camp. I’m in the getting it over with camp,” he said.
“This is the first impeachment in history conducted by partisans,” Graham said. ”The Intel Committee gathered the facts. The president’s lawyer was excluded from participating in the Intel Committee. The House Republicans on Intel were denied the ability to call any witnesses. They couldn’t find anything about the whistleblower. This started with an anonymous complaint. They couldn’t look as to whether or not there is real corruption on behalf of Hunter Biden.
“All of that was shut down. It moves to the Judiciary Committee. They have a hearing with four law professors. After that hearing given four opinions, Nancy Pelosi moves to articles of impeachment. They shut the president out in the Judiciary Committee in terms of putting on a defense,” he said.
“So when this comes to the Senate, I’m going to treat it as the sham it is. For the future of the presidency itself we need not legitimize this in the Senate, because what they’ve done in the House I think is a danger to the presidency behind closed door testimony, 90 percent of it hearsay,” the senator said.
“Yesterday during the Carter Page/Horowitz hearing, you asked was the FBI spying on Donald Trump. Horowitz called it illegal surveillance. If there is no Carter Page warrant 3 and a half years ago, what do the last three years look like?” host Bill Hemmer asked.
“What I can’t get over is why it took Mueller two years to find out the obvious. The Carter Page theory that he was working with the Russians fell apart completely in January of 2017. Carter Page was not working with the Russians. There is no evidence that Manafort, Flynn, Carter Page or Papadopoulos were working with the Russians. All the evidence is quite the opposite, and when they found exculpatory information about Mr. Page, the FBI and D.O.J. hid it from the court and actually lied about the evidence,” Graham said.
“They altered documents to keep the investigation going. This was opened as a counter intelligence investigation under the theory of protecting the Trump campaign from foreign interference. They had no interest in protecting President Trump. Every time there was a stop, sign they ran it. Every time they had information that should have ended the investigation, they kept going, because the goal of these people was to destroy President Trump. If you don’t believe me, listen to their own words,” he added.