Graham blasts House Democrats

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(The Hill) Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Wednesday blasted the newly unveiled House impeachment procedures, arguing they still fall short of giving President Trump due process.

Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a top ally of Trump, said that the decision to allow House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) to take the lead in the impeachment investigation was a significant break with precedent.

The new process is “substantially different than the way we’ve done it in the past,” Graham argued Wednesday, a day after Democrats unveiled the new procedures.

“The Intel committee is part of the process, which has never been done, and the president’s counsel is not allowed to participate in the Intel committee,” Graham said.

“It’s still a behind-closed-doors, lack-of-due-process,” he said. “And they’re trying to create something new that I think is just substandard and dangerous to the presidency.”

The House resolution directs the Intelligence Committee and five other House panels to continue their investigations of the president and his administration.

It directs Schiff to hold open hearings and provides equal time to Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), the ranking Republican on the Intelligence panel, to question witnesses.

It also empowers Nunes to request witness testimony relevant to the investigation.

Nunes may subpoena witnesses and records relevant to the investigation with Schiff’s agreement. If Schiff refuses a request for witness testimony or evidence, the whole committee — which is controlled by Democrats — would vote on the question.

The Intelligence Committee will submit its report to the Judiciary panel, which will then decide if it is sufficient to advance articles of impeachment to the full House.

Graham on Wednesday also downplayed the testimony of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who told House investigators that a transcript of a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was edited to remove a reference to Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian company that paid former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden tens of thousands of dollars to serve on its board.

“I have no doubt that he’s doing what he thinks is right,” Graham said of Vindman, who testified for hours on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. “I appreciate his service but I’ve read the transcript and if you add his corrections in it doesn’t change anything for me.”

Graham said the corrections Vindman proposed for the transcript of the July 25 call “don’t change the substance at all.” 

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