Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is not only a lawyer, he once worked as a JAG attorney. It makes it all the more puzzling why Graham seems to be having problems with the legal specifics around the impeachment scandal.
During an MSNBC panel discussion, host Chris Jansing couldn’t make sense out of Graham’s claim that the White House was too stupid to come up with a quid pro quo while also attacking a $1 million donor to Trump as an anti-Trump leftist. She explained that it’s part of an ever-changing narrative for Republicans as they struggle to find a justification for President Donald Trump’s alleged extortion of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
“Lindsey Graham’s latest defense is that Donald Trump is too stupid to pull off a crime,” said former Republican Rep. David Jolly. “That’s what he’s saying, that Donald Trump’s too stupid to do anything actually wrong. The problem is all of the corroborating evidence says they knew exactly what they were doing and all of the evidence of career diplomatic core and as well as political appointees and political friends like [Ambassador Gordon] Sondland, somebody who gave the president a million dollars, are testifying that absolutely there was a quid pro quo , and we also know that it went so far as to have Donald Trump’s team draft statements for [President Volodymyr] Zelensky to give.”
Jolly called it a “complex and well-coordinated scheme” conducted by Trump, the White House and federal agencies — and said it was “impeachable.”
“Lindsey Graham knows that,” he continued. “And he has no other defense to that fact that it’s an impeachable activity, which is why the last thing he said is, ‘I don’t actually care. I’m not going to even look at the facts. This is over for me.’ Well, he’s doing a disservice to the nation when he does that, and he is not fulfilling the oath of his office, which requires him to well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which he has entered.”
Politico reporter Natasha Bertrand explained that the reason Republicans in the Senate are floundering on the excuses for Trump is that there’s no “war room” set up to coordinate anything and come up with reasonable excuses for Trump’s alleged scheme.
“But this whole narrative Lindsey Graham is pushing forward, that the Trump people are just too dumb to put something like this out there, is really undermined by the fact that the Ukrainians felt this pressure. We’re learning new details now about the lengths that Zelinsky was prepared to go to in order to get this military aid released.”
The New York Times reported Thursday that Ukraine was willing to announce an investigation into the Biden family so they could get the weapons from the U.S., they just couldn’t coordinate it.
“And this wasn’t just Trump. Remember, this was also diplomats that he kind of farmed out in order to pursue his own personal political objectives by squeezing the Ukrainians,” Bertrand continued. “So for Lindsey Graham to say this is really nonsensical in light of all the testimony, we’ve gotten, and he doesn’t even seem to know Sondland’s name. So, it really doesn’t seem like he is the best person to be speaking about this.”
Watch the full discussion below:
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— David Gura (@davidgura) June 6, 2020