Although President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are still at odds over how to approach the Senate impeachment trial, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) seems to have made up his mind.
In a Fox News interview Thursday, Graham doubled down on his statement to Axios a day before where he said “we want to deep-six this thing.”
“Yesterday you said ‘we want to deep-six this thing,’ suggesting you want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. What is that time frame, senator?” Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer asked Graham.
Graham replied that he “would like to see for this thing to get over as soon as possible,” before throwing former special counsel Robert Mueller under the bus.
“What I would like to see happen for this thing to get over as soon as possible,” Graham said. “I don’t want to give it any legitimacy because it is a crock. I trusted Mueller, who is an outside entity, to look at all things Trump and Russia. He did for two years and took no action. Every impeachment except this one has been conducted by outside counsel.”
Graham then insisted that he has no desire to call Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Bidens to testify.
“Let the House managers present their case. Let the President’s lawyers comment on the House case. Then vote,” Graham said. “I don’t have any desire to call the Vice President. I don’t have any desire to call Pompeo, Hunter Biden or Joe Biden. We can look at the Biden affair outside of impeachment. My goal is to end this as soon as possible for the good of the country. It’s a danger to the presidency to legitimize this,” he said.
Graham’s remarks come in the midst of the dizzying back-and-forth between the White House and Trump’s allies when it comes to managing the Senate trial. On Tuesday, CNN reported that while McConnell favors getting the Senate trial over with as soon as possible, Trump prefers a spectacle because he believes it’s his best chance at hurting Democrats in the 2020 election.
Last month, Graham told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he “will not accept a trial in the Senate” until the identity of the whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry is revealed.
Watch Graham’s remarks below:
Graham says he plans to "deep six" impeachment trial pic.twitter.com/f8mpfpzhQd
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) December 12, 2019