The head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) seemed to express frustration and imply that his hands are tied when it comes to Republicans providing a counterpoint to Democrat-led impeachment hearings, which began today in the House of Representatives.
On Fox News Tuesday night, host Sean Hannity asked Graham why the Republican-controlled Senate isn’t holding simultaneous hearings.
At issue, according to Trump supporters, is alleged corruption involving Democrats’ involvement with Ukraine, the 2016 elections, Ukrainian energy company Burisma where Joe Biden’s son served on the board, then-Vice President Biden’s threat to withhold U.S. aid unless Ukraine fired the prosecutor investigating Burisma, the alleged impeachment whistleblower, and the House Democrats’ impeachment push.
Graham indicated that some of those controversies are under the purview of different Republican-led Senate committees, whose chairman have not moved to hold hearings.
“The whistleblower is under the jurisdiction of the Intel Committee, all things about Hunter Biden is under the jurisdiction of the Foreign Relations Committee,” Graham stated.
Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committe.
Graham went on to indicate that he felt his Republican colleagues should be doing more. “If I were Chairman Risch, I would call the State Department officials in to express concerns about a conflict of interest with Hunter Biden and see where that takes you.”
“If I were Chairman Risch, I would call the State Department officials in to express concerns about a conflict of interest with Hunter Biden and see where that takes you.”Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
Graham also implied that some other Senate Republicans are not being outspoken enough.
“The first thing I want my colleagues in the Senate to do is step up and say ‘What’s going on in the House is unfair, unAmerican, we’re not going to bless it,’ and I’d like my colleagues in the Senate to say ‘There is no quid pro quo here’ because the money was given to the Ukraine and Hunter Biden, Joe Biden were not investigated.’ I’d like Republicans to speak up and say ‘This is a bunch of garbage.”
Democrats say President Trump engaged in an improper quid pro quo with Ukraine, withholding U.S. aid to get political dirt on Biden for his own political purposes in the 2020 campaign.
Trump's supporters say the President properly sought Ukraine's cooperation in investigating corruption and foreign interference in the 2016 campaign, as well as the alleged involvement of Democrats. They also point out that "political dirt" was neither discussed nor delivered, campaign 2020 was not referenced, and a temporary hold on U.S. aid was lifted.
If the Democrat-controlled House votes to impeach President Trump as expected, the case then goes to the Republican-controlled Senate for a trial to see if Trump should be removed from office. That would take a two-thirds "super majority" or 67 votes.
The current political makeup of the Senate is 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats (including two independents).
Watch the full interview below. The operative segment begins approximately five minutes into the interview.