Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham appearing over the weekend on “Fox News Sunday,” with moderator/host Chris Wallace, laid the gauntlet down, once again regarding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s willful slipshod handling of the impeachment inquiry.
A resolute Graham reminded viewers along with the anti-Trump journalist that the House (not the Senate), has the responsibility to bring forth witnesses and prove wrongdoing beyond a reasonable doubt.
“What they’re doing here is they did a railroad job in the House and they’re trying to fix it in the Senate and I’m not going to be part of that,” Graham said.
The South Carolina Republican reiterated once again that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat on the articles of impeachment for almost a month, while she and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, refused to go to the courts to challenge the Presidents claim of executive privilege by denying National Security Advisor John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, from testifying.
The 64-year old Senator said rather than allowing the courts to decide whether former and current cabinet members should testify House Democrats led by Pelosi pushed through two articles of impeachment, then sat on them for almost a month, the time it might have taken for the courts to render an accelerated ruling on the matter.
“What are we supposed to do in the Senate regarding executive privilege?” Graham asked Wallace. “If it’s going to be invoked, who determines whether or not the privilege applies? Clearly, to me, any President would ask for executive privilege regarding these witnesses.”
Indeed every president has invoked executive privilege since George Washington. Moreover, there’s existing precedent in terms of impeachment, then-President Bill Clinton invoked executive privilege when House Republicans wanted to call Clinton’s senior advisor, Sidney Blumenthal. The issue was litigated in the courts and Blumenthal ended up testifying…that’s the genius behind the three co-equal branches of American governance, in that the court becomes the final arbitrator.
However, rather than seeking a ruling from the court, House Democrats simply slapped the President with an article of impeachment for exercising exactly what former President Clinton invoked.
Graham again reminded viewers that the President had tried to use the same right as Clinton, however, he was rebuked by House Democrats.
“The President has never been able to go to court because they never let him. I’m not going to legitimize a House impeachment process that calls the secretary of state, the chief of staff and the national security advisor of any president and deny them their day in our court to protect those essential national security advisors, come to the Senate and destroy executive privilege because it could never be used in the House,” he explained. “The bottom line is these people were so important to the case they should have called them in the House.”
Wallace then asked Graham; “Will the Senate end up calling witnesses?”
The South Carolina Senator without hesitation responded, “If we call one witness, we’re going to call all the witnesses.”
Adding, “There’s not going to be a process where the Democrats get their witnesses and the President gets shut out.”
Moreover, Graham left a tantalizing option open regarding former Vice President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and the whistleblower, suggesting that perhaps the door is open to an investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which he’s chairman.
“We can look at those allegations of misconduct outside of impeachment,” he explained.