Lindsey Graham: When 52 Senators Say They've Had Enough, The President Will Be Acquitted | Video | RealClearPolitics

Lindsey Graham: When 52 Senators Say They've Had Enough, The President Will Be Acquitted


Republican Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham says the impeachment process in the House is partisan and "illegitimate" and it will not go far in the Senate if the House votes to impeach the president, on FNC's "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for being here. You said that to me a couple of weeks ago. Is it still dead on arrival unless you hear from the whistleblower?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM: Well, the whole process is illegitimate in the House. It's not just the whistleblower. You don't want to create a situation where an anonymous person can start impeachment proceedings against the president of the United States. You can't get a parking ticket based on that anonymous allegation. The hearings were held behind closed doors. The Intel Committee gathered all the facts. The president's lawyer was never allowed to participate. They asked to call witnesses in the judiciary committee. They had one hearing in the committee with four law professors and Nancy Pelosi said we're going to move forward with articles of impeachment. This is a joke of a process. It's dangerous to the country. It's the first impeachment scenario in the country started in house not with outside counsel, Whitewater prosecutor Ken Starr. You had Mueller looking at all things Russia and Trump. You had prosecutors in the Nixon case outside the system. This is being driven by Schiff and Nadler, Pelosi, partisan people. I think it's going to meet a quick end in the Senate.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Who are some of the people you are going to want to hear from if in fact this does go to a trial? And will the president get a fair trial? Are you going to demand that people like the whistleblower, Adam Schiff, Alexander Chalupa, Fusion GPS, are these some of the people or organizations you're going to want to question?

LINDSEY GRAHAM: There's two ways to do this. In the trial you can have the president present a defense to prove in fact that maybe the Ukraine was interfering in our election. The Russians stole the emails, not the Ukraine, but there's articles suggesting Ukrainian officials met with Democratic operatives in 2016. I don’t know if that's true but here's what I'm going to do with the trial. I'm going to try to get this over as quickly as possible, listen to what the House case, let them present their case, and if there's nothing new and dramatic I would be ready to vote and we can do all this other stuff through congressional oversight.

MARIA BARTIROMO: So, are you saying you're not going to have people come down and testify?

LINDSEY GRAHAM: I am saying that I'm going to end this as quickly as I can for the good of the country. When 51 of us say we've heard enough, the trial is going to end. The president's going to be acquitted. He may want to call Schiff. He may want to call Hunter Biden. He may want to call Joe Biden. But here's my advice to the president. If the Senate is ready to vote and ready to acquit you, you should celebrate that and we can look at this other stuff outside of impeachment. Impeachment is tearing the country apart. I don’t want to give it any more credibility than it deserves.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Well, it's interesting that you say that because I mean, all of this time yes they're trying to rush this through. The Democrats want to get this done before the end of the year and before the Iowa caucuses and before we get -- learn more about the IG report and yet there seems to have been a wrecking ball thrown at our democracy with Adam Schiff getting people's phone records. I mean, what do you think about that? Adam Schiff getting the phone records of Devin Nunes, of John Solomon.

LINDSEY GRAHAM: I think it's dangerous. What he did he was I think looking at Rudy and found out Rudy made some calls to these folks.

MARIA BARTIROMO: So, Rudy's not allowed to make these phone calls?

LINDSEY GRAHAM: No, he certainly can but here's what I would tell Adam Schiff. Do you really want to start calling other members -- Republican members of Congress and oversight? Do you want me to call you to the Senate as part of Senate oversight? Where does this insanity --

MARIA BARTIROMO: Will you? Will you call him?

LINDSEY GRAHAM: No. No I will not.


LINDSEY GRAHAM: Because I'm not going to participate in things I think will destroy the country. I'm not going to call a bunch of House members to come to the Senate as part of oversight. Now, if you're a House member and you participated, you're not subject -- you're not above the law but we're not going to turn the Senate into a circus and I would tell Schiff what you're doing is very dangerous for separation of powers here.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Just the idea of getting that information into the public view so that the public can start speculating oh, why did Giuliani call this one and why was John Solomon on the phone with Giuliani?

LINDSEY GRAHAM: Adam Schiff is doing a lot of damage to the country and he needs to stop. Mueller spent two years and $25 million looking at Trump. This whole Ukrainian stuff is a joke. They got the money. They got the meeting with the president. They didn't investigate Joe Biden or Hunter Biden. There is no there there.

MARIA BARTIROMO: I understand, but it's not stopping, Senator. You know you say yeah, he needs to stop but he's not. For three years he said --

LINDSEY GRAHAM: It's going to stop soon.

MARIA BARTIROMO: --- collusion was in our plain sight.

LINDSEY GRAHAM: Yeah, well the guy --

MARIA BARTIROMO: Where's the accountability for that? Let me hear your thoughts on the IG report. We're going to get that --

LINDSEY GRAHAM: The accountability comes in November of 2020 when the public sees what the House has done with their majority. They've spent all their time trying to destroy the Trump presidency. They've done nothing beneficial to the American people. You know who may be the most valuable player for the Republican Party in the 2020 election cycle is Adam Schiff.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Mm-hmm. So, in terms of the FISA abuse, we're going to get the report tomorrow.


MARIA BARTIROMO: You're going to have Michael Horowitz testify in front of your committee on Wednesday.


MARIA BARTIROMO: Will we see that there was exculpatory evidence held back from the FISA court in order to get a warrant to spy on Carter Page?

LINDSEY GRAHAM: We'll soon see. Here's what I think we'll see is a pattern of where they manipulated the evidence to get a warrant. They ignored strong signals that Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, was biased against Trump. They withheld information from the court about how the dossier was created. They never informed the court that it was paid for by the Democratic Party and Christopher Steele hated Trump's guts. I'm looking for evidence of whether or not they manipulated the facts to get the warrant and as to the counterintelligence investigation, why didn't they tell President Trump that they suspected Carter Page and Papadopoulos of working with the Russians and if they didn't tell him there's a reason. Counterintelligence is designed to protect institutions designed to protect Americans from foreign influence. They told Hillary Clinton about efforts to do that. They told Dianne Feinstein she had somebody on her staff they thought were working with the Chinese. But they never mentioned to Trump, Papadopoulos, or Carter Page, and I want to know why.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Yeah. And they had meetings with him, and a lot of opportunities to do so. All right. In terms of the IG report, you are going to get the IG report tomorrow. We'll all get the IG report tomorrow.


MARIA BARTIROMO: And then, you're going to have Michael Horowitz testify on Wednesday. Have you seen the IG report?

LINDSEY GRAHAM: No. I haven't. But you -- don't judge it until he testifies. I think I have some understanding of what it's all about, but I haven't seen it. And I've purposely not wanted to see it. I think you're going to see the system off the rails. I think you're going to see members of the Department of Justice and FBI taking the law into their own hands. And that statement that Comey made in the House, in December 7th, 2018, that everything with the FISA warrant process was proper -- to suggest otherwise would be crazy -- is not going to withstand scrutiny.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Do you expect we'll see indictments?

LINDSEY GRAHAM: I hope so. Let's put it this way. I want this to never happen again. I'm looking for the FISA court to do something here. The FISA court meets in secret. It's an important national security tool. But if, in fact, the FISA court was defrauded, and they do nothing about it, the question for me is, should we still allow them to exist? I'm looking for them to discipline people who misled the court. I'm looking for Durham to hold people accountable criminally who lied to the court.

LINDSEY GRAHAM: I'm looking to make sure this never happens again. And the only way to prevent it from happening again is people have to pay a price this time, so there will be no next time.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Well, there seems to be a lot of leaks -- that the FBI is going to get off easy here.

LINDSEY GRAHAM: They are spinning this thing --

MARIA BARTIROMO: Do you have any idea what -- how bad it could be? I mean --

LINDSEY GRAHAM: Well, I think it's going to be damning in terms of the FISA process. I really do.

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