Graham’s Latest Talking Point: Trump Admin Is Too Inept To Pull Off Quid Pro Quo

US Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham gives a statement after closed-door briefing on Iran in the auditorium of the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, DC on May 21, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) ... US Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham gives a statement after closed-door briefing on Iran in the auditorium of the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, DC on May 21, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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November 6, 2019 2:39 p.m.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of President Trump’s staunchest defenders on the impeachment inquiry, has unleashed a new round of spin to avoid calling a spade a spade.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Graham argued that the Trump administration’s approach to policy in Ukraine is “incoherent” and officials are “incapable of forming a quid pro quo.”

“The whole process is a joke. The whole idea that there’s a quid pro quo based on somebody changing their testimony presuming there was,” Graham told reporters in a video posted to Twitter by his director of communications. “This is a political vendetta. … What I can tell you about the Trump policy toward Ukraine. It was incoherent. It depends on who you talk to; they seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo.”

Graham also told reporters that he had no intention of reading the transcript of Gordon Sondland’s testimony released Tuesday, in which the ambassador acknowledged that Trump’s pressure campaign, which included a call with the Ukrainian president, added up to a quid pro quo. Graham said Tuesday that he didn’t know if he thought a quid pro quo was an impeachable offense because the U.S. puts “conditions on aid all the time.” But he also said Tuesday that tying aid to a political investigation would be considered “completely out of bounds.”

In this case, Trump and his personal lawyer, along with a couple State Department officials, pressured the Ukrainian government into announcing publicly an investigation into the Biden family and the 2016 election in exchange for military aid and a White House visit.

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