In a statement today, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he does not believe additional testimony is needed in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump.
According to Graham, President Trump’s controversial phone call with the President of Ukraine reflected U.S. concerns about corruption, not selfish political interests.
“There is ample evidence for the President to be concerned about conflicts of interest on behalf of Hunter Biden and that Vice President Joe Biden’s failure to take appropriate action was unacceptable,” says Graham. “This combination, in my view, undercut America’s message on reforming corruption in Ukraine. There is a mountain of evidence to suggest the Bidens’ behavior was harmful to the United States.”
While Biden was Vice President and overseeing U.S.-Ukrainian issues, his son Hunter was hired by a Ukrainian energy firm that was mired in alleged corruption. Hunter Biden reportedly received $50,000 a month for his service on Burisma’s board of directors.
Several anti-Trump State Department witnesses in the House impeachment hearings testified that they found the hiring of Biden’s son problematic from an appearance and conflict of interest standpoint. One official says he expressed his concern to the Vice President’s office but did not hear back.
Ultimately, Biden himself publicly stated that he threatened to withhold U.S funds from Ukraine if the president did not immediately fire a prosecutor that was investigating the firm that hired Hunter. However, Biden says the threat was made because he thought the prosecutor was corrupt, not because the prosecutor was investigating Burisma. Nonetheless, some experts say, Burisma and Hunter’s son benefitted from the quid pro quo arrangement.
Graham indicated that if witnesses are called in the impeachment trial, that the President and his team will likely have a list of witnesses of their own they wish to call, perhaps including the Bidens.
Read Sen. Graham’s full statement below:
“It is my opinion, based on the law and facts, that additional testimony is unnecessary in this case.
“For the sake of argument, one could assume everything attributable to John Bolton is accurate and still the House case would fall well below the standards to remove a president from office.
“It is clear to me that there is ample evidence for the President to be concerned about conflicts of interest on behalf of Hunter Biden and that Vice President Joe Biden’s failure to take appropriate action was unacceptable. This combination, in my view, undercut America’s message on reforming corruption in Ukraine. There is a mountain of evidence to suggest the Bidens’ behavior was harmful to the United States.
“The House managers’ claim that the sole reason President Trump temporarily paused the aid was purely personal and political, not public, does not withstand scrutiny.
“However, I am concerned when John Bolton’s credibility is attacked, it makes it more likely some will feel the need to call him as a witness.
“In that event, it would be important for the President and his team to call witnesses on other issues.”