Graham: GOP senators won't kick out Trump based on Ukraine call
The South Carolina senator also accuses House Democrats of aiming "to destroy the nation for no good reason.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham warned Wednesday that House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry threatens to “destroy the nation,” and predicted Senate Republicans would never vote to remove President Donald Trump from office on the basis of his controversial phone call with Ukraine’s leader.
“I've read the transcript,” the South Carolina Republican told the hosts of “Fox & Friends,” referring to the White House readout of Trump’s conversation in July with newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“I do not see anything wrong there, and I want Nancy Pelosi to know that Republican senators are not going to impeach this president based on this transcript,” he continued. “So she can stop now before she destroys the country.”
Graham said he plans to ask his GOP Senate colleagues to co-sign a letter to the House speaker stating that they “do not believe the transcript of the phone call” constitutes an impeachable offense, adding that Pelosi and other Democratic lawmakers are “about to destroy the nation for no good reason.”
Graham also called upon Pelosi to bring a resolution to the House floor to approve Democrats’ impeachment probe, claiming that “you have to have a vote to make it legitimate.”
The remarks from Graham, one of Trump’s most loyal congressional defenders, echo two of Republican lawmakers’ oft-repeated criticisms of House Democrats’ drive to oust the president, which has now entered its second week.
The proceedings, White House allies argue, lack constitutional authority and a clear mandate from the full House — and the phone call at the heart of the inquiry is not damaging enough to warrant the extraordinary step of impeachment.
But the Democrats’ investigation is quickly expanding beyond the narrow scope of the Trump-Zelensky conversation, now ensnaring senior officials across the administration and Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone signaled in a letter Tuesday to Pelosi and the three committee chairmen leading the impeachment probe that the administration will block any cooperation with their investigative processes, while top Democrats have cautioned that a failure to comply will amount to obstruction of their inquiry.