Lindsey Graham clings to new Trump 'hearsay' defense: Impeachment 'is going to destroy the presidency over time'
Lindsey Graham (CNN/screen grab)

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) argued that the impeachment of President Donald Trump should not go forward because it would "destroy the presidency over time."


Reporters pressed Graham on Thursday about what he might do to stop the impeachment proceedings.

"There’s no quid pro quo," Graham ranted. "Nothing happened here. We’re not going to impeach this president over this. We’re not going to legitimize a hearing where you can only call Democratic witnesses. It’s over. It’s done for me."

According to the South Carolina Republican, impeachment is not a valid remedy for the president's misdeeds because it was initiated with so-called hearsay evidence.

"If you exclude hearsay as basis for impeachment, which every court in the land would, unless there’s an exception, I will not allow it to come forward with my vote unless the whistleblower comes forward," Graham opined. "Is there a connection between the whistleblower, CIA, Biden or any other Democrat? We’re not going to let the president of the United States be tried based on anonymous accusation and based on a bunch of hearsay."

Graham, however, supported the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, who was accused based on hearsay allegations from Linda Tripp.

But on Thursday, Graham insisted that hearsay witnesses could eventually "destroy the presidency."

"I don’t want to legitimize this," he said of the impeachment process. "Democrats may like this today. If there’s a Democratic president and you’ve got a small majority of Republicans in the house, you’re basically going to destroy the presidency over time if you continue this."

Just moments after Graham spoke, CNN's John King pointed out the hypocrisy.

"I would remind Lindsey Graham, Linda Tripp heard it from a friend," King said. "Like almost any case built, yes, you can have hearsay witnesses and then you have to prove it."

Watch the video below from CNN.