Sen. Graham: Media Should Ask Dems, 'Why Aren't You Voting to Open Up an Impeachment Inquiry?'

Susan Jones | October 7, 2019 | 6:59am EDT
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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

( - "I want Nancy Pelosi to have the courage to vote on impeachment, not just talk about it," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Sunday.

The Trump white House on Monday is expected to send a letter to Pelosi (D-Calif.), asking her to allow a full House vote on opening formal impeachment proceedings against the president.

Graham told "Sunday  Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo that until the full House votes, every Democrat should be asked, "Why aren't you voting to open up an impeachment inquiry?"

One of the most democratic things you can do in a democracy is to have your elected representative vote on issues important to the country. So it's imperative that Democrats vote to open up articles of impeachment inquiry, not just talk about it. Don't hide behind Nancy Pelosi.

It's very important that the House vote on whether or not we should go forward on impeachment. That's the democratic way of doing business.

It's the most consequential two weeks of the 2020 election. What happened in the last two weeks? Joe Biden, who is leaking oil, his campaign has just completely imploded. I think he's probably done. He's the biggest victim of the whistle-blower complaint, because now we know that his son was receiving $50,000 a month from a Ukrainian gas company while Joe was in charge of the Ukrainian portfolio, and $1 billion-plus from a subsidiary of a China bank, based on what qualifications?

So I think this is a nightmare for the Biden campaign. Bernie Sanders has a heart attack. Nancy Pelosi is now trapped. She embarked on impeachment inquiry based on a transcript she hadn't read.

And here is what I would like FOX or somebody to do. Go to every Republican and ask the question, do you believe the transcript itself is an impeachable offense? What the president said on the transcript, is that is impeachable offense?

I think it's ridiculous to say that the president did something wrong based on the phone call. And I think everybody in the media should go to the Democrat and ask them, why aren't you voting to open up an impeachment inquiry?

It's been a hell of a couple of weeks. And the biggest beneficiary, quite frankly, has been Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump.

Graham noted that so far, Pelosi has opened an impeachment inquiry all by herself, simply by describing various committee hearings as such.

"Every Democratic member of the House needs to be on record: Do you agree with Nancy Pelosi that the transcript is enough to impeach President Trump?" Graham said.

"Remember when Pelosi said that the transcript would show a quid pro quo? It doesn't. There's nothing wrong with this (Trump-Zelensky) phone call. It is OK for the president and others to look into corruption in the Ukraine. Three Democratic senators wrote a letter to the Ukrainian government asking them to cooperate with Mueller, and if you don't, you may lose your aid.

"It's also OK to look into whether or not there was corruption in the Ukraine going the other way."

Graham pointed to a January 2017 Politico article "that suggests that the DNC was receiving help from the Ukraine."

"We need a special counsel to look at whether or not the DNC was working with people inside the Ukraine," Graham said. "And somebody needs to look at the Bidens and whether or not they violated the law, outside of politics."

Graham noted that the Mueller inquiry "cleared Trump." (The probe ended without an indictment on either "coordination" or obstruction of justice.)

"Mueller spent two years and $25 million looking at it. Has anybody looked at the DNC-Ukraine connection? No, they have not," Graham said.

"And I love Rudy Giuliani. He's a good lawyer for the president. He's defending the president's interests. But the Mueller investigation is over. It's not Rudy's job to find out if the Bidens did something wrong.

"I'd like somebody outside of politics to look at the Bidens like Mueller looked at the Trumps. Remember the Trump Tower deal with Russia? That was looked at by Mueller. Somebody needs to look at the Bidens regarding the Ukraine and China."

Graham said the piling on of whistleblowers in the current impeachment inquiry shows the current case against Trump "is Kavanaugh all over again."

"Remember Kavanaugh. It started with one complaint that wound up being unverifiable, a complaint against Judge Kavanaugh about a party that took place in high school 30 years ago, without any notice of where it happened and when it happened, and everybody described to be there said it didn't happen.

"And five more allegations came after that. What did we learn in Kavanaugh?" Graham asked. "That they were coaching witnesses and they were piling on to try to create an impression that Judge Kavanaugh was a flawed human being."

Speaking of the current focus on Trump and Ukraine, Graham said, "This smells. This seems like a political setup. And it reminds me of Kavanaugh all over again."

Graham also said he wants to know what, if anything, Schiff or his staff said to the whistleblower before the complaint was filed.

The fact that Schiff or a Schiff staffer spoke to the whistleblower before the complaint was filed makes Schiff a fact witness, Graham said. "I want to know what was said originally," he added.

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