Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) declared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the Salem witch trials had “more due process” than the so-called whistleblower’s complaint against President Donald Trump.
Partial transcript as follows:
BRENNAN: Big week here, but I want to begin where Nancy Pelosi just left off. She lays out what she says is most problematic the sequencing.
BRENNAN: The president in this call record says–
BRENNAN: –“Would you do us a favor?” He brings up debunked myth about the DNC server and then he brings up the Biden family and the need for an investigation. He repeatedly lays that out. And also the aid package is mentioned.
BRENNAN: You have no problem with any of this?
GRAHAM: I have zero problems with this phone call–
BRENNAN: Even with that sequencing?
GRAHAM: I just told you I have zero problems with this phone call. There is no quid pro quo here but I do have a problem with Nancy Pelosi. If you believe that Donald Trump did something to hurt this country you owe it to vote not talk about impeaching the president. The only way to open up an impeachment inquiry is to vote. We need a John Hancock moment from House Democrats. Quit hiding behind Nancy Pelosi. If you think the president did something wrong in this phone call then vote to open up an article of impeachment inquiry and a lot of House Democrats won’t because they’re afraid.
BRENNAN: Well putting that political calculus aside I want to ask you about the content though–
BRENNAN: –of this conversation.
GRAHAM:Can I tell you about this conversation?
BRENNAN: Do you think it was ethical for–
BRENNAN: –the president to bring up Joe Biden?
GRAHAM: Yes, absolutely. I think somebody ought to look at whether or not Joe Biden had the prosecutor fired in an improper way. I love Joe Biden. I don’t want to look at it. I want an inspector general somebody like Mueller. Did Biden know that his son was receiving 50,000 dollars a month from a gas company being investigated by the prosecutor–
BRENNAN: Isn’t that just–
GRAHAM: –wait a minute–
BRENNAN: –his payment–
GRAHAM: –wait a minute–
BRENNAN: –for being on the board?
BRENNAN: Do you have reason to believe–
GRAHAM: The board- the guys–
BRENNAN: it was anything more than that?
GRAHAM: –on a board being investigated for corruption and the guy doing the investigation is asked to be fired by Biden. I don’t know what happened. It smells to high heaven. I never said the Mueller witch hunt- the Mueller investigation was a witch hunt. I introduced legislation to protect Mueller. This seems to me like a political setup. It’s all hearsay. You can’t get a parking ticket conviction based on hearsay. The whistle blower didn’t hear the phone call.
GRAHAM: Who told the whistleblower–
BRENNAN: — Which he says.
GRAHAM: –about the phone call and everything else?
BRENNAN: He says–
GRAHAM: Donald Trump is–
BRENNAN: –multiple White House officials were discussing it.
GRAHAM: –still an American. Every American deserves to confront their accuser. So this is a sham as far as I’m concerned. I want to know who told the whistleblower about the phone call. I want to know why they changed the rules about whistleblowers not- the hearsay rule was changed just a short period of time before the complaint was filed. The complaint sounds like a legal document who help him- who helped this guy write it or this girl write it? We’re not going to try the president of the United States based on hearsay. Every American has a right to confront their accuser.
BRENNAN: You wanted the president to release this partial call record–
GRAHAM: I did.
BRENNAN: –but you’re saying this is hearsay.The complaint on a number of fronts–
BRENNAN: –is matched by
BRENNAN: –the call record–
GRAHAM: –the transcript and the complaint are not matched–
GRAHAM: –now- now wait a minute–
BRENNAN: –the reference to the DNC server–
GRAHAM: –please let me talk–
BRENNAN: –the will you do–
GRAHAM: –please, please–
BRENNAN: –a favor. I’m laying out the facts here.
GRAHAM: No- no you’re not.
BRENNAN: The repeated–
GRAHAM: No, you’re making an argument that–
BENNAN: –reference to Joe Biden–
GRAHAM: Here’s the point–
BRENNAN: All of those things–
GRAHAM: Joe Biden–
BRENNAN: –are laid out here–
GRAHAM: –went to the–
BRENNAN: –the face that the attorney general was brought up.
GRAHAM: Nevermind. You know you’ve got an opinion and I got an opinion. You’ve got me on the show to tell me what- what I think. I think Mueller did a good job for the country and there was nothing there. I think this whole thing is a sham. I can’t believe we’re talking about impeaching the president based on an accusation based on hearsay. Who is this whistleblower? What bias do they have? Why did they pick this whistleblower to tell a hearsay story? The transcript does not match the complaint. What’s going on here? Why did they change the rules about a whistleblower you can use hearsay when you could not just weeks before the complaint? So I think this thing stinks and let me tell you about Republican’s – you want to know about Republicans? Republicans believe that you’re guilty just by the accusation if you’re Brett Kavanaugh it doesn’t matter. They don’t tell you when it happened and where it happened it just happened 30 years ago. If you’re Donald Trump you don’t get to confront your accuser like every other American. Republicans believe this president is being persecuted. They don’t love Donald Trump and the way he does business. They like what he does, but they believe he’s being persecuted. They believe that everybody’s out to get him and I believe as to this complaint it smells.
BRENNAN: So the acting director of national intelligence who was put in that job by the Trump administration–
BRENNAN: –said he believed that the whistleblower was–
GRAHAM: No, he did not–
BRENNAN: acting in good faith–
GRAHAM: No, he did not. He said they couldn’t question his motives–
GRAHAM: But he didn’t know if it’s true or not. So Adam Schiff read the- the- the- the transcript in a way that everybody would believe that Trump’s guilty. The DNI did not say he- he could confirm this–
GRAHAM: He didn’t know- he didn’t have any reason to believe the- the whistleblower’s doing anything wrong. What I want to know, who told the whistleblower about the transcript? Who told the whistleblower about a phone call between the president of the United States and a foreign leader–
BRENNAN: Yeah, he–
GRAHAM: This is the third time a phone call has been compromised–
GRAHAM: I’ve read the transcript. I’m fine with it, but I’m not fine with this president being impeached based on hearsay. Every American should be able to confront their accuser, including Donald Trump.
BRENNAN: But the-the whistleblower here says that multiple White House officials conveyed this to him–
GRAHAM: Who are they?
BRENNAN: And the fact–
GRAHAM: Who are they–
BRENNAN: –pattern was laid out–
GRAHAM: What- what bias do they have–
BRENNAN: To- to move on to another point–
GRAHAM: No, wait a minute. Let’s stop right there. The whistleblower says I have no direct knowledge–
GRAHAM: –multiple White House officials told me this–
GRAHAM: They tell me about a phone call. There’s a disconnect. Who are these people, and what are they up to? You know, this is- Mueller wasn’t a witch hunt, but this is- Salem witch trials have more due process than this–
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN