Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the usually reliable President Trump ally, shot down the a House Republican’s request to subpoena the phone records of House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) asked Senate Republicans to subpoena Schiff’s phone records. President Trump expressed a similar sentiment in a tweet on Thursday, suggesting he wanted to bring Schiff, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the Biden family before the Senate as witnesses during an impeachment trial.
…..trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business. We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is. I was elected to “Clean the Swamp,” and that’s what I am doing!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2019
But Graham threw cold water on those efforts Thursday, arguing that the Senate can’t start subpoenaing other lawmakers.
“I don’t have any desire to subpoena Adam Schiff. We’re not going to do that,” Graham said, according to several reporters. “When members start subpoenaing each other as part of oversight, the whole system breaks down. … You got two different bodies here. Are we going to start calling House members over here when we don’t like what they say or do? I don’t think so.”
While Graham remains a staunch Trump defender, the break with Trump and Republicans was significant. In recent days the White House and other Republicans have noticeably shifted their messaging on impeachment. Instead of harping on their belief in a sham impeachment process, Republicans and Trump alike are now pushing for the House to impeach him so the proceedings can move over to the Senate, where the GOP thinks Trump will get a fair trial.