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Lindsey Graham leaves open the possibility of voting to impeach President Donald Trump

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left open the possibility that he would vote to impeach President Donald Trump if he saw evidence that the commander-in-chief had engaged in a quid pro quo during an interview with “Axios on HBO” broadcast Sunday night.

After telling Axios’ Jonathan Swan that he would need to see evidence of an actual “crime,” Graham added that “if you could show me that, you know, Trump actually was engaging in a quid pro quo outside the phone call, that would be very disturbing.”

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Although the interview was taped two days before acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney admitted during a press conference that the release of military aid appropriated to Ukraine by Congress was tied to demands that it help Trump dig up dirt on a 2020 opponent, Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop said Friday that the senator still claimed to have not seen or heard anything that rises to the level of an impeachable offense.

Graham indicated during the interview that he had set a very high bar for what he would deem to be an impeachable offense, claiming that Trump’s July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky was “not a quid pro quo to me.” The South Carolina senator added that although Trump’s public request for China to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden’s son was both a “bad idea” and “stupid,” it only reflected “a frustrated Trump.”

Tipping his hand as to why he is such a staunch defender of Trump, Graham said that he does not want to run afoul of his constituents in South Carolina, who tend to be supportive of the president.

“People in South Carolina like Trump,” Graham told Swan. “They want me to work with him. I represent them. I owe it to them to try. I owe it to him to try.”

The senator also engaged in self-deprecation as he claimed that “there are a lot of working-class folks who felt like Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham did not give a damn about them.”

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“I mean, she was secretary of state, first lady, United States senator,” Graham said of Clinton. “She lost to Donald Trump. I lost to Donald Trump. Jeb Bush lost to Donald Trump.”

Graham also refused to stand by his earlier observation that Trump’s racist remarks make him a “bigot.” He claimed that the president’s election in 2016 exonerated him, because “the American people said he wasn’t a bigot. I don’t think they woulda elected one.” He admitted that although the president can “be a handful,” he believes Trump is “an equal opportunity abuser of people.”

Despite the fact that Graham has defended Trump amid the scandal over his alleged solicitation of foreign countries to interfere in the 2020 election, the senator has been more critical of the president’s decision to abandon America’s Kurdish allies in Syria. Earlier this month, Graham described the decision as “impulsive” and warned “those who think ISIS has been defeated” that “you will soon see” the truth.

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Impeachment managers release trial memorandum detailing why Trump must be removed from office

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House impeachment managers released an in-depth trial memorandum laying out the case for convicting President Donald Trump during his Senate impeachment trial.

The memorandum was released by representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Val Demings (D-FL), Jason Crow (D-CO) and Sylvia Garcia (D-FL).

The document divides the argument by the House of Representatives into three points.

"The Senate should convict President Trump of abuse of power," is the first section.

"The Senate should convict President Trump of obstruction of Congress," is the second section.

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2020 Election

He ‘can’t understand why he is being impeached’: CNN reports Trump is asking ’why are they doing this to me?’

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President Donald Trump is reportedly "distracted" by impeachment while vacationing at Mar-a-Lago as the United States Senate trial begins.

"A source close to the White House who speaks to Donald Trump regularly said the President has appeared 'distracted' by the impeachment trial that begins on Tuesday, telling people around him Friday night at Mar-a-Lago that he 'can't understand why he is impeached,'" CNN's Jim Acosta reported Saturday. "'Why are they doing this to me,' the source quoted Trump as saying repeatedly."

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Rod Rosenstein’s legal defense in lawsuits from Strzok and Page won’t hold up under oath: legal experts

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Rod Rosenstein

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein claimed responsibility for the release of text messages between then-FBI attorney Lisa Page and then-FBI official Peter Strzok.

Emails released in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) revealed the highly unusual release by Sarah Isgur Flores, who at the time was the spokesperson for Trump's Department of Justice (she is now overseeing CNN's 2020 election coverage).

Flores instructed reporters to not cite the release of the documents to the Depart of Justice.

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