Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has had it with the Democrats’ impeachment “inquiry.” Graham introduced a resolution in the Senate demanding the House respect the American ideals of due process and transparency by following previously established precedent on impeachment proceedings.
The Democrat-controlled House, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, initiated their “impeachment inquiry” against President Donald Trump without holding a vote to authorize such, as precedent dictates. Further infuriating Republicans, the Democrats have been holding secretive hearings behind closed doors.
Respect “due process”
“If we were doing this, you’d be beating the sh** out of us,” Graham said during a news conference on Thursday. “And, I think it says a lot about people in your business, with all due respect.”
He condemned the secretive manner in which House Democrats were conducting the impeachment inquiry, during which he noted that at least 41 Republican senators — “and climbing” — had signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.
Graham’s resolution spelled out the “long-standing practice and precedent” of prior impeachment inquiries and took note of how vastly different the current iteration was, particularly in how it was denying President Trump, as well as House Republicans, their “fundamental Constitutional protections.”
The resolution called on the House to cease its impeachment inquiry until it had held a formal vote on the House floor. It also calls on Democrats “to provide President Trump, like every other American, with due process, to include the ability to confront his accusers, call witnesses on his behalf, and have a basic understanding of the accusations against him that would form any basis for impeachment.”
The resolution also demands that Democrats “provide members of the minority with the ability to participate fully in all proceedings and have equal authority to issue subpoenas and other compulsory process.”
McConnell backs Graham’s resolution
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also co-sponsored the resolution. In a statement on Thursday, he said, “Yet the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is breaking critical precedents, denying the administration important rights that were afforded other presidents, and violating basic rules of due process.”
“Unlike the House’s actions during investigations of both President Nixon and President Clinton, this House majority is denying President Trump important rights and due process protections,” McConnell said. “These include President Trump’s right to be represented by counsel; his right for that counsel to be present at all hearings and depositions; his right for that counsel to call and cross-examine witnesses; and even his right to access and respond to the evidence which the House compiles.”
“House Democrats are even denying their own Republican colleagues basic procedural rights that the minority party was granted throughout previous impeachments,” he added.
Graham rips Democrats
Graham noted that his resolution didn’t say House Democrats couldn’t impeach the president, but merely urged for fairness. “If we pulled this stunt, you’d be eating us alive,” he said, and cited as an example the leaked opening statement of diplomat Bill Taylor, but the absence of any leaks from his subsequent testimony.
It remains to be seen if Graham’s resolution will receive a vote and pass the Senate, and even more so whether House Democrats will pay it any mind. Regardless, it has been made clear that Republicans are no longer willing to simply sit back and watch Democrats make a mockery of the system.