Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has proven to be a voice of reason in the face of a national hysteria based over the White House’s newly unclassified phone call transcript.
Shortly after President Trump released the transcript of his July phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that gave no indication of a quid pro quo wherein Ukraine would investigate former Vice President Joe Biden using his influence to have a prosecutor fired for investigating his son’s business dealings, Graham flatly dared the Democrats to impeach Trump.
“Those who believe that the transcript is a ‘Smoking Gun’ for impeachment, do something about it — have the courage of your convictions,” the South Carolina Republican tweeted. “The House of Reps should take a vote to formally open an impeachment inquiry. Let the American people see where Members of Congress stand!”
Those who believe that the transcript is a “Smoking Gun” for impeachment, do something about it – have the courage of your convictions.
The House of Reps should take a vote to formally open an impeachment inquiry.
Let the American people see where Members of Congress stand!
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 25, 2019
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Graham also said that it would be “insane” for the U.S. government to impeach Trump based on the phone call with Zelensky.
“From my point of view, to impeach any president over a phone call like this would be insane,” said Graham.
In the conversation between President Trump and Zelensky, Joe Biden’s name was only mentioned three times in one paragraph — not the eight times that the whistleblower alleged:
President Donald Trump: I just want to let you know that’s the other thing … There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.
President Zelensky: I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all, I understand and I’m knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament; the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved, by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case.
Hours after President Trump dropped the transcript, he and Zelensky held a press conference, during which the Ukraine leader denied that Trump ever pressured or threatened him to investigate Joe Biden.
“Have you felt any pressure by Pres. Trump to investigate Joe Biden?” a reporter asked Zelensky.
“I think you read everything. I think you read text. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be involved to democratic, open elections of [the United States]. We had, I think, good phone call. It was normal,” responded Zelensky.
Democrats have already indicated their plan to open an “impeachment inquiry” into the matter, though any House impeachment would likely prove ill-fated in the Republican-controlled Senate.