Graham: Dems Trying to ‘Destroy’ Trump; ‘I Wouldn't Cooperate With These Guys at All'

By Susan Jones | January 23, 2020 | 6:32am EST
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

( - An impassioned Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters on Wednesday, "If I were the president, I wouldn't cooperate with these guys (Democrats) at all."

Graham reminded reporters at a news conference that he supported the Mueller investigation and even told President Trump he couldn't fire Mueller. "Mueller is a man of the law," Graham said:

Schiff, Nadler and Pelosi impeached this president in 48 days. I wouldn't give them the time of day.

They're on a crusade to destroy this man. And they don't care what they destroy in the process of trying to destroy Donald Trump. I do care.

So to my Democratic colleagues. You can say what you want about me. But I’m covering up nothing. I'm exposing your hatred of this president to the point that you would destroy the institution.

Nobody would be saying this about a Democrat president if a Republican House had done this. You wouldn't even ask me that question. All of you would be in our face, saying that there’s a Democratic president and you're denying that person, he or she, a chance to go to court and litigate these matters because you hate him so much.

It shows you how complicit people have become when it comes to Trump.

Not one question about the idea that a Democratic-controlled house, in 48 days, impeached the president of the United States, with a process where he couldn't have a lawyer, couldn't call a witness. 

And they hold it against him because he wants to object to turning over documents to them.

You would be all over us.

So let me tell you what's going to happen in November. This won't matter much. People are going to judge the president by what he's done and what he can do.

And they're going to look at the Democratic alternative and ask, will I be better off with this person versus Trump?

But I'm going to remember this. I'm going to remember this for a very long time. No good deed goes unpunished around this place.

Working with my Democratic colleagues, I tried to give Mueller the space to do his job. And I told the president to his face, if it's proven you worked with the Russians, or you sought something from the Russians, and got it, that's it for me and you.

Now -- now the same people that patted me on the back are asking me to railroad the guy, to legitimize a process in the House that will destroy the presidency over time.  I will not be part of that.

And you need to ask yourselves some questions. Would you be asking different questions if this were a Democratic president treated so poorly by a Republican House?

‘Cause I remember Clinton very well. We got challenged rightly so about what we were doing and why we were doing it.

So I wouldn't cooperate at all with these people if I were the president.

In response to a question, Graham said abuse of power in the Trump case "undercuts the ability of the president to literally do his job."

Graham said no one is more important to the president than the secretary of state, the national security advisor and the chief of staff:

So he needs to protect the institution of the presidency. So if I'm asked to waive executive privilege, I will say no. The only option is to stop the trial and go to court; or have the Senate decide the privilege.

And here's what I'm going to tell future Houses:  If you blow through these privileges because you want to impeach the president before the election, and you come to the Senate and then you ask me to destroy the privileges, forget it. I'm not going to reward this kind of behavior.

So the only option available to the Senate now is to recognize the privilege and that's the end of Bolton's testimony; or stop the trial and send it to court, which they should have done to begin with.

Graham, asked about Republicans possibly calling Hunter Biden as a witness, said he wouldn’t bother:

"If Hunter Biden has a decent lawyer, he will claim the Fifth Amendment.  Because you get $50,000 a month, beginning in 2014, to do what? And when your company gets investigated by the Ukrainian prosecutor the same day you get on the phone with the State Department and your business partner meets with John Kerry?

"This dismissal that Hunter Biden did everything on the up and up?  I don't know that he did everything on the up and up,” Graham concluded.

That would be the reason for President Trump’s team to call Hunter Biden, to explore whether Trump was onto something other than personal considerations when he asked Ukraine for an investigation into the Bidens.


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