Further Evidence That The Fix Is In For Trump’s Senate Trial

Lindsey Graham is the latest Senator to make clear that he's already made up his mind on impeachment.

Senator Lindsey Graham isn’t even pretending that he’s entering into the upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate with an open mind:

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Saturday that he’s made up his mind that President Trump should be acquitted, dismissed the notion that he has to be a “fair juror” and said he doesn’t see the need for a formal trial in the Senate.

Graham, a staunch defender of the president, made the comments overseas during an interview with CNN International at the Doha Forum in Qatar.

“I think impeachment is going to end quickly in the Senate. I would prefer it to end as quickly as possible,” Graham said. “Use the record that was assembled in the House to pass impeachment articles as your trial record.”

Asked whether it was appropriate for him to share those thoughts given his purported role as a juror in a Senate trial, Graham replied, “Well, I must think so because I’m doing it.”

“I am trying to give a pretty clear signal I have made up my mind. I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here,” he added.

Graham’s comments come after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) disclosed that he intends to work in concert with the Trump legal team on how a Senate trial will play out.

Many senators have refused to weigh in on the merits of the Trump impeachment case, citing their future role as impartial jurors. When asked to react to McConnell’s plans to take his cues from the White House counsel, spokespeople for GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Martha McSally (Ariz.) and Mitt Romney (Utah) never responded.

In a pretaped interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” that aired Sunday, Graham said he has no interest in inviting former vice president Joe Biden or his son Hunter Biden to testify in a Senate trial. Questions Republicans have for them regarding their dealings with Ukraine can be dealt with separately, Graham said.

The impeachment inquiry centers on Trump’s desire to dig up evidence of corruption by the Bidens in Ukraine and his request that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky launch an investigation.

Graham also told CBS he’d be interested in hearing separately from Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has launched his own investigation into the Bidens in Ukraine.

“I want to end this matter quickly and move on to other things,” Graham said. “We can look at what Rudy’s got and Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and anything else you want to look at after impeachment, but if Rudy wants to come to the Judiciary Committee and testify about what he found, he’s welcome to do so.”

As several people pointed out on social media over the weekend, this stands in stark contrast with what Graham had to say during the Clinton impeachment:

“I have a duty far greater than just getting to the next election,” Graham said back then. “Members of the Senate have said, ‘I understand everything there is about this case, and I won’t vote to impeach the president.’ Please allow the facts to do the talking. … Don’t decide the case before the case’s end.”

Quite a change over the course of 21 years isn’t it? Of course, back then Graham was a Republican Congressman who would go on to become one of the House’s impeachment managers that presented the case in favor of President Clinton’s conviction and removal from office. This time, he’s a Republican who, especially since the death of his former colleague John McCain, has proven to be one of the President’s most obsequious defenders in the Senate.

This report came just days after it was reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was in close communication with the White House Counsel’s Office and other Trump Administration officials regarding the trial. McConnell also stated that he was “certain” that no Republicans would be voting in favor of the President’s removal from office. While it isn’t necessarily unusual that McConnell, who is responsible for scheduling the start of the trial and other procedural and timing issues, would consult with the President’s attorneys regarding the trial (just as he ought to be consulting with the House, by the way), the fact that McConnell is doing so at the same time he’s basically saying that Senate Republicans basically just want to go through the motions, get the trial over with, and acquit the President as everyone expects they will.

It also stands in stark contrast to the oath that Senators will take prior to the start of the trial:

I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be,) that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of [Insert name of officer being impeached], now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: so help me God.

Obviously Senators McConnell and Graham, as well as several others, including McConnell’s fellow Republican Senator Rand Paul, have no intention of abiding by that oath. They have already made up their minds, or are simply willing to ignore the evidence against the President either because they support the President because they are behaving like a sycophant toward him to protect their own careers, because they have sold out, or because they are cowards who are afraid of the ire of the President and his supporters. Whatever, the explanation is it’s hardly adequate. Graham and his fellow Republicans ought to be ashamed of themselves, but clearly they have no shame.

As I have said before, it’s clear that there would not be 20 Republicans who would join with Democrats to convict and remove the President from office. That fact, however, doesn’t make what we’re watching unfold any less outrageous, though. The Constitution gives the Senate the duty to preside over the trial of an impeached President, but these Senators have already made clear that they would put party, and loyalty to the President, ahead of the country. They have made clear that they would essentially ignore whatever evidence might be presented to them regarding the President’s wrongdoing. It’s not surprising, but it is outrageous and it is yet another reason why this party cannot be taken seriously and cannot be trusted with power.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Donald Trump, Impeachment, Law and the Courts, Politicians, U.S. Constitution, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I am trying to give a pretty clear signal I have made up my mind. I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here

    We all grew up during the Golden Age of Democracy, and now we are witnesses to it’s end.

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  2. Kathy says:

    “He may be a corrupt, degenerate criminal, traitor and serial liar, but he’s our corrupt, degenerate criminal, traitor and serial liar! Besides, we’re scared s***tless of his base, and we can’t muster a single spine among the lot of us.”

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  3. Teve says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I’m not convinced democracy can survive the new media environment.

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  4. Eric Taylor says:

    @Kathy: Kathy said it right… the entire country has good reason to be afraid of this President and his base that accepts his corruption, serial lying, & criminal behavior. Just ask yourself, “will he continue to invite foreign intrusion into our election, and be aided by WH council, DOJ, and other top WH aids to cover it up?”

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  5. Kathy says:

    @Eric Taylor:

    Granted I don’t know all history, but I can’t think of a single instance in which a great power went begging to be made a client of a weaker power.

  6. An Interested Party says:

    Of course the lickspittle has already made up his mind…after all, he wouldn’t want to be the subject of a mean tweet from the object of his toadying…one of the worst things about all of these Republicans is their total lack of self-respect with all of the bowing and scraping they do…

  7. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Kathy:

    Granted I don’t know all history, but I can’t think of a single instance in which a great power went begging to be made a client of a weaker power.

    Russia has one Aircraft Carrier…one…and it has spent more time getting fixed than working. It is accompanied at all times by a Tug Boat. Yet Trump is submissive to Putin. You tell me why?

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  8. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    No idea. Not for a fact. the usual theories is either 1) Putin has something on him (not hard), 2) some pathological need of Dennison’s to kiss a stronger man’s ass, 3) both

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  9. Mister Bluster says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:..Yet Trump is submissive to Putin. You tell me why?

    Squeal like a pig…

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  10. drj says:

    It also stands in stark contrast to the oath that Senators will take prior to the start of the trial:

    Upon taking office, Senators also take an oath swearing or affirming that they will “support and defend the Constitution.”

    Now we know (if we didn’t already) how serious we should take their oaths of office. In short: not at all.

    These people are already halfway down the path to treason.

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  11. CSK says:

    @Kathy:

    You’re right. I don’t know how often and how hard this can be emphasized: Republicans are terrified of Cult45.

  12. Paul L. says:

    The Constitution gives the Senate the duty to preside over the trial of an impeached President,

    I do not see where in the Constitution it specifies how they “Try” someone for impeachment and what are the parameters of the “trial”.
    “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”

    “It’s not surprising, but it is outrageous and it is yet another reason why any Congressperson cannot be taken seriously and cannot be trusted with power. ”
    Nunes’ memo was verified by the IG report and the Schiff’s memo was debunked.

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  13. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:

    Nunes’ memo was verified by the IG report and the Schiff’s memo was debunked.

    Um…no.
    You’re wrong, again.

    The new report does not support Nunes’ theory of a politically motivated “deep state” or support that investigators were deliberately misleading. While many of the Nunes memo’s assertions were correct, according to the report, officials also found no evidence of political bias.

    https://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article238275723.html

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  14. Paul L. says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    From your article.

    Nunes’ memo said the Steele dossier was “essential” to the FISA application into Page, and the inspector general report agreed, saying it played a “central and essential role.”

    From McClatchy’s California newspapers, including the Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee and Modesto Bee, the same paper that reported and stands by.
    Sources: Mueller has evidence Cohen was in Prague in 2016, confirming part of dossier

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  15. An Interested Party says:

    I do not see where in the Constitution it specifies how they “Try” someone for impeachment and what are the parameters of the “trial”.
    “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”

    Oh? Now Trump enablers want to use the Constitution as their guide? Funny that they seemed to forget another part of the Constitution that gives the House of Representatives the sole power of Impeachment…

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  16. drj says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    To put things in perspective, Carter Page, the “Deep State,” the IG Report, and the Nunes Memo have nothing to do with impeachment.

    Trump has admitted to trying to shake down Zelensky (who is president of Ukraine) in order to get dirt on Biden. This has zilch to do with the FBI’s investigation of the ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

    Ukraine and Russia are two different countries.

    You got suckered into playing Paul L.’s game.

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  17. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:
    That doesn’t mean that the IG verified Nunes’ Memo.
    You’re not smart.

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  18. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Russia has one Aircraft Carrier…one…and it has spent more time getting fixed than working.

    I hear they keep it warm, too 🙂

    Russia does have a bunch of ICBMs on land, and they may have kept maintaining some of their SLBM-capable submarines. Not to mention even more tactical nukes, and now apparently also intermediate range ballistic missiles, maybe even cruise missiles.

    So they cannot be taken out with a preemptive strike.

    Big shrug.

    neither could the USSR. Yet no one in the US government went begging to Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, or Gorbachev to please, please, pretty please meddle in our internal affairs and treat us like a client (while we’re secretly your puppet).

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  19. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @drj:

    Ukraine and Russia are two different countries.

    What most people are missing is that this is all part of the same thing. Everything with Trump, goes back to Russia. The Ukraine scandal, which will lead to Impeachment, is all about Russia.

  20. charon says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Everything with Trump, goes back to Russia.

    Not quite. The House of Saud has a piece of him. The Christian Right (plus its cutout Netanyahu) have a piece of him too.

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  21. Guarneri says:

    Damn it all.

    And the House proceeding was soooo “unfixed.”

    Payback is a bitch. I just took my dog for a walk. Here’s your sandwich.

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  22. CSK says:

    What a sad, pathetic, needy little man Trump is. Now he claims he was “probably” going to be Time mag’s Person of the Year, but he didn’t want to be bothered with the photo shoot and interview.

    Time says this is bullsh!t.

  23. john430 says:

    Further Evidence That The Fix Is In For Trump’s Senate Trial????

    ROFLMAO! The Democrats House Impeachment Plan was being formulated BEFORE Trump was even sworn in. Get real Mataconis.

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  24. gVOR08 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Russia has one Aircraft Carrier…one…and it has spent more time getting fixed than working.

    Right. They have one, count it, one. The Admiral Kuznetsov. And it caught fire dockside in Murmansk a few days ago while being repaired for damage caused by a crane crashing into it in October when the floating dock it was in sank.

    Guarneri or somebody used to make a big deal out us now saying Russia is a serious threat when we laughed at Romney saying they were our number one threat. It’s only Trump that makes them now a serious threat

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  25. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @john430:

    The Democrats House Impeachment Plan was being formulated BEFORE Trump was even sworn in.

    Which is why they didn’t impeach him until he admitted to bribery?
    The crap you type doesn’t even make sense.
    And…oh, yeah…he is an un-indicted co-conspirator in an Election Fraud case in which his attorney pled guilty and is serving time. So if they had been working on impeachment it would have been warranted. But they weren’t.
    So, yeah…you’re not smart.

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  26. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Guarneri:
    How, or why, do you fix a proceeding where the subject has admitted to the crime?
    You’re not smart.
    None of you Trumpaloons are smart.

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  27. mike shupp says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: the Golden Age of Democracy … now we are witnesses to it’s end.

    Yeah, and legally inclined conservatives call this “Originalism.”

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  28. Kathy says:

    “Mr. Franklin, sir, we couldn’t keep it. Can you arrange a nice constitutional monarchy instead?”

  29. Benj. Franklin says:

    @Kathy: Sorry, one government per customer.

  30. CSK says:

    @Kathy:

    My next screenplay: “The Madness of King Donald.”

  31. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Screenplay? How about a diagnosis: a mental illness that makes other people go insane. Not even Gregory House would touch that one.

  32. Kurtz says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Try living in the area the both Guarneri and I live. It’s worse than you think.

  33. the Q says:

    First thing the next Dem President does, on the first day, is call every foreign government head of state and ask them for all the files they have on EVERY GOP politician in America because we “have to root out corruption in the GOP and find out how they are capable of so many un American acts against democracy”. The justification is that foreign entities are paying off the GOP to destroy American values and we need to root out this corruption. Make sure all these calls are “perfect” and release the transcripts for all to read.

    We will start with Putin’s Russia, “dear Vlad, can you do US a favor and hack all GOP servers and we will make sure Poland doesn’t get the defensive missiles they want. PS, hand over whatever damning evidence you have about Trump’s loans and the affairs of his kids, and we will stop aid to the Ukraine for your help.”

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  34. An Interested Party says:

    We will start with Putin’s Russia, “dear Vlad, can you do US a favor and hack all GOP servers…

    It has been speculated that when the Russians were hacking into Democratic computers they were also doing the same to Republican computers but that they are still sitting on the GOP dirt…it would be very interesting to see what they are sitting on…

  35. Kathy says:

    @the Q:

    Biden won’t ever do that. I don’t know about the others, but Biden won’t.ever.do.that.

    It would be great if a democratic candidate said something like that, just to see how the GOP, and the deplorables, twist into a four-dimensional pretzel trying to condemn them while justifying Dennison doing the exact same thing.

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  36. An Interested Party says:

    It’s nice to know that Moscow Mitch is going to do everything he can to help Putin’s bitch