Following the conclusion of opening arguments from President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team on Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stopped to speak with reporters for a few moments about what he had heard thus far and how he thought the remainder of the trial would play out.
On the hot topic of calling additional witnesses to testify, Graham offered a prediction that his fellow Republicans had the 51 votes necessary to issue subpoenas for former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, the so-called “whistleblower,” and even a Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer alleged to have coordinated anti-Trump efforts with Ukrainian officials in the 2016 election, the Washington Examiner reported.
There has been much discussion prior to and throughout the impeachment proceedings in the Senate about Democrat demands for additional witnesses to be called. While Republicans have been largely resistant to calling any witnesses at all, it has nonetheless been put forward that if Democrats are able to garner the votes necessary to call the witnesses they want, Republicans will counter by calling witness of their own.
Graham immediately made it clear to reporters that, as far as he was concerned, he had heard enough to proceed to a final vote on acquittal or conviction without hearing from any additional witnesses, though he noted, “However, if people want witnesses, we’re gonna get a lot of witnesses.”
He went on to suggest that he had heard and seen sufficient evidence of alleged wrongdoing by the Bidens — as well as by a DNC staffer in 2016 — to justify President Trump’s requests to Ukraine for investigations. A moment later, pressed by a reporter, Graham said, “I’ll make a prediction: There’ll be 51 Republican votes to call Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, the whistleblower, and the DNC staffer, at a very minimum.”
Dem double standard
Sen. Graham suggested that, in light of what he’d learned, “it would have been wrong for President Trump not to pursue this issue,” in relation to the Bidens’ lucrative and questionable business dealings in Ukraine with a corrupt energy firm known as Burisma Holdings.
“You have to be willfully blind and say that Democratic misconduct doesn’t matter to you not to believe that the president had a good reason to ask the Ukraine to look into the Biden affair,” Graham said, according to Breitbart. “As much as I like Joe Biden, he needs to answer questions of why he allowed his son to continue to receive millions of dollars from Burisma when he should’ve known it was a conflict of interest.
“If a Republican had been in that same situation, you would be all over all of us wanting to know why we’re not calling these people as witnesses,” he added. “So as much as I like Joe Biden, he has to answer for his time as the leader of anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine.”
“Tsunami of evidence”
Prior to all of that, Graham said of the Bidens: “There’s not a scintilla of evidence that the Bidens’ connection to the Ukraine was inappropriate, there’s a tsunami of evidence.
“So the House managers told the Senate ‘this is baseless, it’s been debunked.’ And I think the defense team yesterday made a damning indictment of what Hunter Biden and Joe Biden allowed to happen, and it’s not in America’s interest to let this ever happen again in the Ukraine where Hunter Biden basically turned it into an ATM machine,” he added.
Sen. Graham made it abundantly clear that he would prefer to move ahead and conclude the impeachment trial without calling any witnesses.
But if the issue of witnesses is nonetheless something that his colleagues choose to pursue, Graham pledged to make certain that witnesses who could bolster the president’s defense — by proving he was justified in seeking investigations — would absolutely be on the roster of those called.