Trump Demands Graham Make Obama Testify. Graham Says No Thanks.

President Donald Trump speaks to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) during an event about judicial confirmations in the East Room of the White House on November 6, 2019. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
|
May 14, 2020 3:51 p.m.

President Donald Trump on Thursday explicitly demanded that Senate Judiciary Committee chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC) haul former President Barack Obama in to testify, but Graham’s not so sure that’s a good idea — for Trump.

On Thursday morning, Trump claimed via Twitter that his predecessor “knew EVERYTHING” about the “biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA,” a baseless conspiracy theory that Obama was somehow involved in Michael Flynn’s criminal case (Trump has yet to actually explain in detail what the “crime” was or provide any evidence of its existence, let alone Obama’s supposed involvement in it).

Saying that Obama would be “the first person” to call in to testify, the President tried to order Graham to do exactly that.

“Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, just do it,” Trump tweeted. “No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more talk!”

However, Mr. Nice Guy doesn’t plan on playing ball.

“I don’t think now’s the time for me to do that,” Graham told Politico. “I don’t know if that’s even possible. I have grave concerns about the role of executive privilege and all kinds of issues.”

“I understand President Trump’s frustration, but be careful what you wish for. Just be careful what you wish for,” the senator warned.

Graham noted that forcing the former president to testify would be unprecedented and emphasized again that “presidentially, I’d be careful what I wish for.”

After all, Democrats have been pursuing multiple threads of Trump’s alleged wrongdoing for years, such as using his office to boost profits at his real estate properties and his refusal to hand over his tax returns. Thus setting a precedent of having former presidents testify would clearly backfire on Trump.

Graham had already distanced himself from Trump’s bogus “Obamagate” conspiracy theory on Monday.

“I’m not anticipating calling President Obama,” he said during a separate interview with Politico.

Support The TPM Journalism Fund
  • Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
  • Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism
Comments
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer:
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PAST TPM MEMBERS
40% OFF AN ANNUAL PRIME MEMBERSHIP
REJOIN FOR JUST $30