Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) revealed his scheme to undermine the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump during an interview on Fox News earlier this week, but his plan was shut down by former White House counsel John Dean on Friday.
Graham has refused to even read the damning transcript of Trump’s phone call with Ukraine President Zelensky in which he asked for a favor by demanding an investigation to find dirt on former Vice-President Joe Biden in exchange for military aid the country needs to fight off Russian aggression.
Instead of judging the evidence on the merits, Graham is desperately ignoring it and intends to make any impeachment trial in the Senate a complete circus, taking the complete opposite view of impeachment than he did when he made impeaching former President Bill Clinton his mission in 1998 over Clinton’s lie about an affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Part of Graham’s plan is to exclude most of the testimony heard in the House, testimony that he has labeled “hearsay.”
“The trial in the Senate should mirror trials all over America, hearsay is not admitted unless there’s a valid exception — in any trial in America,” Graham said. “My belief is that 90% of the testimony being used by the House violates the hearsay rule.”
Except that an impeachment trial is not like a regular courtroom trial. The rules are completely different, and the transcript of Trump’s conversation with Zelensky alone should be enough to bury him. The testimony by administration officials like Ambassadors Gordon Sondland and Marie Yovanovitch have been devastating blows to Trump and any claim he has made that there was “no quid-pro-quo.”
And John Dean agrees that Graham likely won’t be able to push such a rule in the Senate to exclude the testimony he doesn’t like.
“I don’t think Lindsey has the chops in the Senate to get that rule ever adopted by the Senate for an impeachment trial,” Dean said on CNN. “They’ve got the precedent of several trials before, there were a number of judges who have been impeached where they laid the rules down there. They didn’t adopt any such special rules for those proceedings, they’re not going to for this one.”
Here’s the video below:
Trump should not get special rules just because he’s a member of Graham’s party. After all, Clinton did not get special rules and treatment during his trial. Graham should be ashamed of himself for bending over backward to help Trump undermine a constitutional impeachment. Frankly, he should be forced to recuse himself because he has a clear bias as Trump’s most loyal toady. The late Senator John McCain is not only rolling in his grave, but he’s also probably upchucking over how sickening his friend is acting.
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