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Lindsey Graham Plans to Introduce Resolution Condemning ‘Illegitimate’ House Impeachment: ‘Should Be Dismissed in Senate Without a Trial’

Mediaite logo Mediaite 10/23/2019 Reed Richardson
Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., questions witness James Jeffrey special representative for Syria Engagement and special envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat Islamic State during a committee hearing on assessing the impact of Turkey's offensive in northeast Syria, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) © Associated Press Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., questions witness James Jeffrey special representative for Syria Engagement and special envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat Islamic State during a committee hearing on assessing the impact of Turkey's offensive in northeast Syria, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham railed against the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, calling it “illegitimate” and “unconstitutional” and said he plans to introduce a Senate resolution that would argue any articles of impeachment should be “dismissed in the Senate without a trial.”

Unveiling his plans to Sean Hannity, Graham attacked what he said was an impeachment process that was trampling on President Donald Trump’s rights.

“We cannot allow future presidents and this president to be impeached based on an inquiry in the House that’s never been voted upon that does not allow the president to confront the witnesses against him, to call witnesses on his behalf, and cross-examine people who are accusing him of misdeeds,” Graham said, previewing the language of his forthcoming Senate resolution. “All I’m asking is give Donald Trump the same rights as [Presidents] Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton had when it comes to impeachment. I’m insisting that Donald Trump be given the same rights that any American has if you’re giving a parking ticket to confront the witnesses against you: can’t be based on hearsay. And here’s the point of the resolution: Any impeachment vote based on this process, to me, is illegitimate, is unconstitutional, and should be dismissed in the Senate without a trial.”

This new procedural tactic by Graham follows on the heels of his unabashed defense of Trump’s incendiary “lynching” analogy earlier on Tuesday and, notably, comes amid a new Daily Beast report that the Trump White House is frustrated with the lack of assertive pushback from Senator Republicans, in particular the South Carolina senator.

“This process in the House is being conducted behind closed doors, Republicans are being shut out, and if you had an inquiry vote, that allows Republicans and a president to call witnesses and to confront people accusing the president of misdeeds. That’s what happened with Clinton, that’s what happened with Nixon and [President] Andrew Johnson,” Graham said.

Such historical comparisons are inexact and don’t line up with the current circumstances, however. For example, the impeachment of Clinton came after a years-long Independent Counsel investigation and the only witness to testify during the 1998 House impeachment was Ken Starr, the Independent Counsel. And Nixon was never formally impeached, as three articles of impeachment were passed by the House Judiciary Committee after a long investigation into the Watergate scandal, but he resigned before the full House could ever vote on them.

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