This Wednesday, as day two of arguments in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial geared up, Trump ally and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) resorted to one of his favorite pastimes — yelling. During a press conference alongside a couple of other Republican Senators, he held little back in his bombastic, self-righteous attempt to apparently insulate the president from any kind of serious scrutiny even in the face of glaringly uncontestable evidence demonstrating his abuse of power. Although he’s still going along with the trial for now, he dismissed the entire proceeding as illegitimate because — and this is the extent of his argument — Trump’s “executive privilege” should let him act untethered.
Zeroing in on very basic Democratic demands for witnesses and evidence, Graham angrily asserted:
‘What the House managers were proposing yesterday is basically to destroy the institution of the presidency as we know it, make it naked when it comes to partisan impeachment, not have a venue to go to court and litigate privileges that have been exercised by prior presidents. When it comes to Donald Trump, they’re willing to destroy the institution of the office in the name of getting him.’
No! They want the basic evidence relevant to the president’s scheme to bribe Ukraine into investigating his opponents! Here’s yet another argument about the process instead of one focused on the facts, which are lined up against the president’s defenders.
After getting asked a very simple question about the president proudly touting how much material he has kept from impeachment investigators, he yelled out the attempted defense:
‘They’re on a crusade to destroy this man! And they don’t care what they destroy in the process of trying to destroy Donald Trump! So to my Democratic colleagues: you can say what you want about me, but I’m covering up nothing! I’m exposing your hatred of this president to the point that you would destroy the institution!’
So… his idea is that the president is free to do whatever he wants because of a conspiracy theory about a Democratic “crusade” against the president.
Separately, Graham went on to name a laundry list of complaints against Democrats. For example, he repeated the GOP talking point whining about Dems having denied the president’s “right” to due process, but in reality — the president’s own refusal to cooperate with investigators’ fact-finding attempts does not negate the entire proceeding. It just doesn’t. And no amount of Graham’s self-righteous posturing will change that, considering this Wednesday, he also tried to depict himself as an impartial source via rattling off his very basic attempts to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Graham’s tangents even included him reminiscing about his past as a lawyer. He spouted off:
‘Before I came here, I used to try cases. We have a lot of good lawyers in this body. All I can is that when the court date was set, if I asked for a bunch of subpoenas and documents to be produced on the day of trial that I had not pursued before the trial in any serious way, I would get tossed out.’
And the point is?
Democrats have built their case as best as possible considering the president’s relentless obstruction, period.