Sen. Lindsey Graham Refuses To Read Released Impeachment Transcripts Showing Quid Pro Quo
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) is refusing to look at the evidence that there was a quid pro quo deal between President Donald Trump and Ukraine, saying he has “written off” the whole process.
He has denied that such evidence even exists, saying on Sept. 25 that “if you’re looking for a circumstance where the President of the United States was threatening the Ukraine with cutting off aid unless they investigated his political opponent, you’d be very disappointed. That does not exist.”
However, in a transcript released by the House Tuesday, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union revised his testimony to confirm that a quid pro quo occurred.
Graham was asked by a CBS reporter Tuesday if he would read the transcripts. He said he would not adding, “I’ve written the whole process off … I think this is a bunch of BS.”
In the ambassador’s earlier testimony on Oct. 17, Gordon Sondland said he knew of only one quid pro quo deal: that Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani requested Ukraine to open an investigation into Trump’s political rival Joe Biden, in exchange for a meeting between the presidents of both countries.
In an addendum dated Nov. 4, Sondland wrote that the testimonies of other witnesses “refreshed his recollection.”
Sondland said that “by the beginning of September 2019, and in the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, I presumed that the aid suspension had become linked” to Ukraine not publicly committing to an investigation into Biden, as well as a conspiracy theory about the 2016 election.
During a July 25 phone call, Trump told the President of Ukraine to “do us a favor” and “look into” if Biden’s son’s Ukrainian business interests prompted the then-VP to force the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor. Although Biden did pressure the government to fire its prosecutor, it was because he had been widely criticized for being corrupt. There is no evidence to suggest he was acting in the interests of his son.
Days before the phone call, Trump had moved to place about $400 million in military aid to Ukraine on hold. The call is the central component to Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into the president.
Trump has claimed that everyone testifying against him is a “Never Trumper,” motivated by political bias. Sondland is a Trump appointee and Republican campaign donor.