Sen. Lindsey Graham turned up on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo earlier today. He only did one segment, but a lot was said about the impeachment process. Graham, as is his habit, tossed out a lot of red meat that will infuriate some observers and please others, and vice versa. He got all sides covered, as usual.
His basic message was this: Impeachment is tearing the country apart, and because of that he is not going to extend it by doing things like allowing the President of the United States to call the witnesses he wants, or to force Adam Schiff to testify under oath about his pre-dealings with Eric Ciaramella, who everyone knows is the fake whistleblower who kicked this whole thing off. There will be no testimony from Hunter Biden or Joe Biden or Alexandra Chalupa or anyone else, if Graham has his way.
Graham’s grand plan is to – I kid you not – give the Democrats one more bite at the apple, allow them to present their slanderous joke of a “case” on national TV one more time, and then hold a vote if he has 51 Senators who will vote “yay” or “nay.” He promises the President will be acquitted, but with this guy, who really knows?
Below is a clip of Graham’s interview with Bartiromo, followed by a transcript provided after great and laborious effort for our voracious readers by your friends at the Campaign Update. Judge Sen. Graham’s intentions for yourselves.
Bartiromo plays clip of Graham on November 10, lambasting Schiff and House Dems for not allowing the “whistleblower” – CIA plant Eric Ciaramella – to testify, and saying that impeachment is “dead on arrival” when it lands in the Senate, largely as a result of that failure.
Bartiromo: You said that to me a few weeks ago – does it still apply today?
Graham: Well, the whole process is illegitimate in the house. It’s not just the whistleblower. You don’t want to create a situation where an anonymous person can start impeachment proceedings against a president of the United States. You can’t get a parking ticket based on an anonymous allegation. The hearings were held behind closed doors, the Intel committee gathered all the facts, the President’s lawyer was never allowed to participate, they asked to call witnesses in the Judiciary committee, they had one hearing of the Judiciary committee with 4 law professors and Nancy Pelosi said we’re gonna move forward with the articles of impeachment.
This is a joke of a process. It’s dangerous to the country, it’s the first impeachment scenario in the country started in-house, not with outside counsel. Whitewater – Prosecutor Ken Starr. You had Mueller looking at all things Russia and Trump, you had prosecutors in the Nixon case, outside the system. This is being driven by Schiff and Nadler, Pelosi – partisan people – and I think it’s gonna meet a quick end in the Senate.
Bartiromo: Who are some of the people you are gonna want to hear from if in fact this does go to a trial? Are you gonna demand that people like the whistleblower, Adam Schiff, Alexandra Chalupa, Fusion GPS – are these some of the people you’re gonna want to question?
Graham: There’s two ways to do this. In the trial, you can have the President present a defense to prove the fact that maybe the Ukraine was interfering in our election. The Russians stole the emails, not the Ukraine, but there’s articles suggesting that Ukrainian officials met with Democratic operatives in 2016. I don’t know if that’s true.
But here’s what I’m gonna do with the trial: I’m gonna try to get this over as quickly as possible. Listen to what 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 [which of course will never happen in Graham’s committee].
Bartiromo: So, are you saying you are not gonna have people come down and test…
Graham: I am saying that I’m gonna end this as quickly as I can for the good of the country. When 51 of us say we have heard enough, the trial is going to end. The President’s gonna be acquitted. He wanna call Schiff, he may wanna call Hunter Biden, he may wanna 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 wanna give it any more credibility than it deserves.
Bartiromo: Well, it’s interesting that you say that, because for all of this time – yes, they’re trying to rush this through, the Democrats want to get this done before the end of the year, and before the Iowa Caucuses and before we learn more about the IG Report, and yet there seems to have been a wrecking ball thrown at our democracy with Adam Schiff getting peoples’ phone records…I mean, what do you think about that? Schiff getting the phone records of Devin Nunes, of John Solomon?
Graham: I think it’s dangerous. What he did was, I think, looking a Rudy, and Rudy made some calls to these folks…
Bartiromo:…so Rudy’s not allowed to make these phone calls???
Graham: No, he certainly can. But here’s what I would tell Adam Schiff: Do you really wanna start calling other members, Republicans, members of congress in oversight? Do you want me to call you to the Senate as part of Senate oversight? Where does this insanity go?
Bartiromo: So will you call him?
Graham: No I will not.
Graham: ‘Cause I’m not gonna participate in things I think will destroy the country. I’m not gonna 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 gonna turn the Senate into a circus. And I would tell Schiff: What you’re doing is very dangerous for the separation of powers here.
Bartiromo: Just the idea of getting that information into the public view, so that the public can start speculating, ‘oh, why did Giuliani make that call, and why was John Solomon on the phone with Giuliani,’ it’s…
Graham: Adam Schiff is doing a lot of damage to the country, and he needs to stop. Mueller spent two years and $25 million looking a Trump. This whole Ukrainian stuff is a joke. They got the money. The got the meeting with the President. They didn’t investigate Joe Biden or Hunter Biden. There is no ‘there’ there.
Bartiromo: I understand, but it’s not stopping, Senator. You say, he needs to stop, but it’s not, for three years he said ‘collusion’ is in plain sight.
Graham: Yeah, well the guy…
Bartiromo: Where’s the accountability for that? Let me hear your thoughts on the IG report, do you think that’s…
Graham: The accountability comes in November 2020 when the public sees what the House has done with their majority. They’ve spent all their time trying to destroy the Trump presidency, they’ve done nothing beneficial to the American people. You know who may be the most valuable player for the Republican Party in the 2020 election cycle? It’s Adam Schiff [who Lindsey refuses to call to testify].
Now, we could argue this either way. Graham’s argument that a quick resolution in the Senate is best for the country has merit: There is no question that this impeachment fiasco has been horrible for our country.
But to just call a vote after giving these despicable Democrats another nationally-televised chance to lay out their joke of a case? To do that without giving the accused a chance to defend himself by laying out a case of his own not only seems unfair, but also completely contrary to the American system of justice.
The very concept should be frankly offensive to Lindsey Graham, the former lawyer. But to Lindsey Graham the current politician, acolyte to the detestable John McCain – whose own hands are dirty in all of this – and longtime friend of Quid Pro Joe Biden, well, it no doubt sounds fantastic.
Bottom line: While this impeachment clown show has obviously been terrible for the country, what is really tearing our country apart is our ongoing bifurcated system of justice, which Graham’s proposed solution here would only serve to strengthen.
P.S.: No one should forget this moment from Graham and McCain: