Sen. Lindsey Graham accused Democrats of violating President Trump’s constitutional rights by trying to compel witnesses to testify at a Senate impeachment trial before the courts can weigh in on the question of executive privilege.
“If you call these witnesses who work for the president after he’s invoked executive privilege … if you deny him his day in court, then you’re abusing the constitutional rights of Donald Trump as president and you’re putting the entire presidency at risk,” the South Carolina Republican “said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“I can’t imagine any senator doing this to the presidency. …. I hope senators will not vote to compel witnesses before the court determines whether or not there’s executive privilege,” he added.
Graham predicted that senators would not vote to force former and current administration officials – acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton – until the court resolves the outstanding issue of executive privilege.
“They’ve impeached this president because he chose to go to court,” Graham said, noting the second article of impeachment was for obstruction of Congress.
He also blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for temporarily holding up sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate until Majority Leader Mitch McConnell outlines how he intends to hold a fair trial for Trump.
Graham said she’s “taking a wrecking ball to the Constitution.”
“Now that’s he’s been charged with two articles of impeachment, Nancy Pelosi is denying the president his day in court in the Senate and she is actually trying to tell Mitch McConnell how to run the Senate,” said Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “She’s trampling on the separation of powers. It’s the Senate’s job to dispose of the impeachment articles.”
The Democrat-controlled House voted along party lines last Wednesday to authorize two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Democrats claim the president froze nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine to force the country’s leader to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 political rival.