Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an Air Force JAG officer, on Sunday defended President Donald Trump by saying that lying to the FBI is not a “big event.”
During an interview on Face the Nation, host John Dickerson asked Graham to react to the news that former Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort has agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
“I don’t know yet,” Graham replied. “I know that from the [Judiciary Committee] point of view we found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. I think [Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman] Richard Burr said from the Intel point of view that he has seen no evidence of collusion.”
Graham argued that Mueller should be allowed to complete his investigation, but the South Carolina senator also said that he was “disappointed” that the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails had been closed.
“I’m very disappointed no Democrat seems to be worried about the corruption at the Department of Justice and the FBI regarding the Clinton e-mail investigation, early stages of the Russian investigation,” Graham complained.
Dickerson asked Graham to grade Mueller based on his record of indictments, pleas and guilty verdicts in the Russia investigation.
But Graham suggested that guilty pleas for lying to the FBI do not carry the same weight as other convictions.
“You got to look at the substance of what people pled to,” the military lawyer opined. “Some people pled to lying to the FBI like [George Papadopoulos] got two weeks in jail.”
“I don’t see that as a big event,” Graham added. “Manafort could have a lot of stuff or he could just have stuff around financial transactions. I don’t know yet. You don’t look at the numbers.”
According to the senator, Mueller’s investigation is much like Ken Starr’s investigation of former President Bill Clinton.
“I think it’s proceeding in a way that these things start with a land deal and wind up with a blue dress,” Graham quipped.
Watch the video below from CBS.
Trump turns bizarre handwritten notes into all-caps Twitter rage spasm: ‘I WANT NOTHING! I WANT NO QUID PRO QUO!’
President Donald Trump on Wednesday wrote down his impeachment inquiry talking points in sharpie marker.
While leaving the White House for a visit to Texas, Trump read his notes to reporters, but refused to take questions.
During the flight, Trump then tweeted out his notes to his 66.9 million Twitter followers.
....”I WANT NOTHING! I WANT NOTHING! I WANT NO QUID PRO QUO! TELL PRESIDENT ZELENSKY TO DO THE RIGHT THING!” Later, Ambassador Sondland said that I told him, “Good, go tell the truth!” This Witch Hunt must end NOW. So bad for our Country!
John Dean says Gordon Sondland just had his ‘John Dean moment’ by flipping on Trump: ‘The truth has come out’
Former White House aide John Dean on Wednesday compared his testimony against President Richard Nixon to the testimony of European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
"This has been called by some commentators a John Dean moment," CNN host Jake Tapper noted during a break in the testimony. "And there is no person I can think of who is better qualified to weigh in on that than John Dean."
"Is he the John Dean of this impeachment inquiry?" Tapper wondered.
"His statement certainly caught the Republicans off guard," Dean replied. "They didn't pick away -- just a few little picky points."
‘The worst day with the most damning evidence’: CNN’s Tapper explains how Sondland was very bad for Trump
European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony before the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry on Wednesday generated several startling revelations, including confirmation of an explicit quid-pro-quo deal involving investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden.
CNN's Jake Tapper described Sondland's testimony as "a monumental and historic moment on what may turn out to be the worst day with the most damning evidence for President Trump in the impeachment inquiry."
He then laid out all the ways that Sondland has been very bad news for the president.
"Sondland directly implicated the president in directing the operation to pressure Ukraine," Tapper explained. "Sondland is testifying that there very clearly was a quid pro quo -- this was for a White House visit for the Ukrainians in exchange for an announcement about an investigation into the company Burisma and the Bidens. Now, Sondland later said it became clear to him that the quid pro quo also, he presumed, was tied to the holdup of hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid that Ukraine desperately needed."