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Lindsey Graham Is Trump's Number One Flunky

Lindsey Graham along with many other republicans are making asses of themselves and their party to protect and appease Donald J. Trump. Graham has gone from calling Trump a jackass to kissing his ass.

Lindsey Graham vs Lindsey Graham

Who Lindsey Graham was vs who Lindsey Graham  is. Lindsey Graham along with many other republicans are making asses of themselves and their party to protect and appease Donald J. Trump. Graham has gone from calling Trump a jackass to kissing his ass.

Graham says he's '1,000% confident' Russia meddled in 2016 US election -- not Ukraine

By Phil Mattingly and Chandelis Duster, CNN

Washington (CNN)Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday said he is "1,000% confident" that Russia, not Ukraine, meddled in the 2016 US presidential election, breaking from President Donald Trump and others in his party who have pushed the discredited conspiracy theory.

"It was the Russians. I'm 1,000% confident that the hack of the DNC was by Russian operatives, no one else," the South Carolina senator told reporters on Capitol Hill. He reiterated his stance to CNN saying, "I've got no doubt that it was the Russians who stole the DNC emails. It wasn't Ukraine. Russia was behind the stolen DNC emails and (John) Podesta and all that good stuff."

Graham continued later in the same interview: "So as to the Ukraine, they had zero to do with the hacking of the DNC and the stealing of the emails. Whether or not people from the Ukraine met with DNC operatives, I don't know. All I've seen is press reports that no one has validated." His comments come as the impeachment probe into Trump and Ukraine moves into the next phase. The House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released its report detailing how the President sought political gain through his dealings with Ukraine. The House Judiciary Committee will hold its first impeachment hearing on Wednesday.

Graham requests State Department documents on Bidens, Ukraine

By Jordain Carney

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) wants the State Department to hand over any documents tied to the Bidens and Ukraine. Graham sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting the documents "to assist in answering questions regarding allegations that Vice President [Joe] Biden played a role in the termination of Prosecutor General [Viktor] Shokin in an effort to end the investigation of the company employing his son."

Under Graham's request, he wants the State Department to hand over any documents tied to calls between the former vice president and former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, including if Biden brought up an investigation into Burisma, the company where his son, Hunter Biden, was on the board. Graham also wants any documents related to a meeting between Devon Archer, Hunter Biden's business partner, and then-Secretary of State John Kerry. Graham's request comes as he, President Trump and other GOP lawmakers have homed in on Hunter Biden as they've sought to push back against the House impeachment inquiry, which is investigating the president's actions toward Ukraine. Full Story

Graham blocks resolution recognizing Armenian genocide after Erdoğan meeting

By Jordain Carney

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) blocked a resolution on Wednesday that would have formally recognized the Ottoman Empire's genocide against the Armenian people. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) asked for consent to pass the resolution that would have provided "official recognition and remembrance" of the Armenian genocide. "The United States foreign policy must reflect an honest accounting of human rights abuses, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and genocide. We cannot turn our backs on the Armenian victims of genocide," he said.

Menendez noted that he listened to President Trump's press conference Wednesday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The Turkish president scolded a House-passed resolution recognizing the genocide and instead promised to "establish a history commission." Graham objected to passing the resolution in the Senate, saying senators shouldn't "sugarcoat history or try to rewrite it." Under the Senate's rules, any one senator can ask for consent to pass a bill or resolution, but any one senator can block it. Graham's objection came hours after he took part in a White House meeting with Trump, Erdoğan and a group of GOP senators. Full Story

Jake Tapper: Lindsey Graham won't read these ... it's his job.

CNN - CNN's Jake Tapper examines the political evolution of Sen. Lindsey Graham as his messages surrounding impeachment and President Donald Trump change. Video

Lindsey Graham's Ukraine explanation will blow your mind

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) - Defending President Donald Trump's oft-repeated claims that there was no quid pro quo in his relationship with Ukraine becomes more difficult by the day. Which forces Republicans to bend over backward -- and crush logic -- to do so. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, whose transformation from Trump critic to Trump confidant is one of the most remarkable things I have ever witnessed in politics, may have set the bar impossibly high Wednesday with his defense of Trump (and the broader administration) on charges of a quid pro quo.

Take it away, Lindsey!
"What I can tell you about the Trump policy toward Ukraine: It was incoherent, it depends on who you talk to, they seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo, so no I find the whole process to be a sham and I'm not going to legitimize it." OK, OK. So what we have here is this argument: The Trump White House is so disorganized that they couldn't possibly have quid pro quo'ed it! They are too incompetent! So therefore, this whole thing is a sham! (Sidebar: We heard this same argument from Republicans privately during the Mueller probe into Russia. The Trump campaign was too disorganized to collude!)

Here's the problem for Graham: We now know, thanks to US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland's, uh, memory recovery that he told a top Ukrainian government official in September that US military aid was likely being held up due to the fact that an official announcement launching an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden had not yet been made.

And that comes within weeks of acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney telling reporters that, yes, a desire to see Ukraine announce an investigation into the 2016 election was a reason why $400 million in American military aid was being withheld. "We do that all the time with foreign policy," Mulvaney said. "Get over it." So whether or not Trump made the quid pro quo explicit in his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky -- and any neutral reading of that rough transcript suggests he came very close -- it's clear that by earlier this fall, the Ukrainians knew the deal: Open the required investigations or don't get the money. (The money was finally released on September 11.) Full Story

Ex-GOP lawmaker on Graham, Gaetz's defense of Trump: 'They look like fools'

By Tal Axelrod

Former GOP Rep. David Jolly (Fla.) tore into congressional Republicans over their defenses of President Trump against Democrats’ impeachment investigation, saying they “look like fools.” "What we’re seeing from House Republicans, frankly, is this childish behavior," he said on MSNBC on Saturday. "They’re displaying an arrogance, an anger, an immaturity — they look like fools." Republicans have railed against the House’s impeachment probe, with many saying the investigation is illegitimate since there has not yet been an official vote to start an inquiry. However, they have also stayed relatively tight-lipped as to whether it was appropriate for Trump to ask Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a request that is at the heart of the probe.

"What Republicans should be doing ... and I struggle with even saying this because they’re on the wrong side of history and I hate to give them counsel that I think is accurate. Stop arguing about the process. Stop doing the sit-ins. Stop doing the stupid stuff that is not believable," Jolly said. "Frankly, the American people don’t care about the process." “From [Sen.] Lindsey Graham’s [R-S.C.] stupidity to [Rep.] Matt Gaetz’s [R-Fla.] stupidity, get that to a concise argument,” he added, saying the focus should not be on the process but instead on some defense that says Trump’s behavior is unimpeachable. Full Story

Lindsey Graham's Trump Impeachment Resolution Has 'Absolutely No Substance' and Is a 'Legally Ignorant Red Herring,' Say Constitutional Scholars

By Shane Croucher

Sen. Lindsey Graham's resolution to the Senate condemning the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump has "absolutely no substance," said a constitutional scholar, and is full of "phony objections." The resolution brought by the South Carolina Republican is co-signed at the time of writing by 46 of his party colleagues in the Senate. It accuses House Democrats of a lack of due process and transparency in their impeachment inquiry. Among the resolution's complaints are that the House has not voted to open the impeachment inquiry, that witnesses so far have given closed-door testimonies, and that Trump is being denied his rights to defend himself against the allegations emerging from the process. Trump's White House is refusing to engage with the impeachment inquiry because it argues the president is denied due process. It is not complying with congressional subpoenas and has instructed administration officials and those associated with Trump to do the same.

"Senator Graham's resolution has absolutely no substance," Laurence Tribe, Carl M. Loeb University Professor and professor of constitutional law at Harvard, and a prominent critic of Trump, told Newsweek. "I looked at it carefully to see if any of its process complaints made sense historically, legally, or morally. I could find nothing in it worthy of being taken seriously. "And the fact that it focuses entirely on phony objections to a completely fair and traditional process speaks volumes about how little the Republican senators have to say in defense of what the president has done in shaking down a vulnerable ally for his own personal benefit." Harold Hongju Koh, Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale, told Newsweek that Graham's resolution is "a legally ignorant red herring." "Even if this style of proceeding were not all authorized by the House rules the Republicans themselves adopted to run the Benghazi hearings, the due process protections Graham wants only attach at the Senate impeachment trial, not at the charging stage in the House, which more closely resembles a more private grand jury proceeding," Koh said. "At the charging stage, private proceedings are warranted so that witnesses don't compare and align stories through public testimony (although the information that is emerging is remarkably consistent).

"And everyone knows that the information being gathered will be public in a matter of weeks anyway, when POTUS and his people will have ample opportunity to rebut." Frank Bowman, Floyd R. Gibson Missouri Endowed Professor of Law at the University of Missouri, told Newsweek the Republican complaints about the House impeachment inquiry are "without merit." Bowman said it is not true that it isn't a valid impeachment inquiry without a resolution by the full House. He also said it is not true that the inquiry is being conducted in secret. "As has been reported ad nauseum, the committees conducting the (currently) private depositions have over 40 Republican members, all of whom are entitled to be present and to ask questions," Bowman told Newsweek. "Likewise, all these committees have Republican staffs, who are also entitled to be present and assist Republican members in asking questions." Full Story

Cuomo to Graham: Impeachment hasn't changed ... you have

Cuomo Prime Time - CNN's Chris Cuomo breaks down Sen. Lindsey Graham's role in the Clinton impeachment, and its stark contrast to his recent comments regarding the impeachment inquiry for President Trump. more...

Burnett calls out Graham on impeachment contradictions

Erin Burnett Out Front - CNN's Erin Burnett calls out Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) over his contradicting statements regarding impeachment proceedings. more...

The one reason Lindsey Graham’s impeachment stunt may actually matter

By Steve Benen
Yesterday was not the finest day in the career of South Carolina’s senior U.S. senator. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Thursday introduced a resolution backed by more than 40 GOP senators excoriating House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, accusing Democrats of violating due process for interviewing key witnesses behind closed doors. Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced the five-page resolution that includes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as a co-sponsor on Thursday afternoon.

Reflecting on Graham’s antics, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank asked, “Could he be any more shameful?” I’m tempted to answer in the negative, but the Senate Judiciary Committee’s chairman keeps finding new ways to embarrass himself. At this point, it’s tempting to write a point-by-point takedown of everything Graham said during his unfortunate press conference yesterday afternoon. I’m inclined to write a long, tiresome piece explaining in excruciating detail that there’s nothing scandalous about the House’s impeachment inquiry; Graham is surely aware of that; he’s contradicting his own stated principles; Graham’s rhetoric about due process doesn’t make any sense at all; and he appears unusually pitiful doing the bidding of a president who recently felt the need to remind Graham that he’s his “boss.”

But for now, let’s put those relevant considerations aside and consider a more practical detail: the number of co-sponsors on Graham’s pointless resolution. As of this morning, 44 Senate Republicans have signed on as original co-sponsors of Graham’s non-binding resolution denouncing the House’s impeachment process. There are currently 53 Senate Republicans in total, which means all but eight of the GOP members in the chamber have linked arms with Graham in support of this misguided measure. (The eight, in case you’re curious, are Cory Gardner, Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, Lamar Alexander, Johnny Isakson, Rob Portman, Lisa Murkowski, and Mike Enzi.) Graham has said he actually has 46 co-sponsors lined up, though it’s not yet clear who the other two supporters are. And why does this tally matter? For one thing, it tells us that Graham’s resolution doesn’t yet have the votes to pass, which isn’t great news for the White House. On the other hand, if the House impeaches Donald Trump in the near future – an outcome I consider a near certainty – the matter would go to the Senate for a trial. If every member of the Senate Democratic conference votes to remove the president from office – which is by no means a certainty – they would need to be joined by 20 of the Senate’s 53 Republicans on at least one count. As things stand, somewhere between six and eight GOP senators balked at Lindsey Graham’s ridiculous resolution. With this in mind, the odds of 20 Senate Republicans agreeing to remove Trump from office are poor. Full Story

Lindsey Graham introduced a resolution denouncing the House's impeachment investigation

By Grace Panetta

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina introduced a resolution denouncing the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. In a Thursday afternoon press briefing, Graham announced he had 41 Republican co-sponsors for his resolution. He further called the current impeachment inquiry "very dangerous to the country," and recalled how during the impeachment process for former President Bill Clinton— in which Graham played a central role — the House held a vote to formally open an inquiry and established its scope.

Three House committees, the House Permanent Select Panel on Intelligence, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform are jointly calling witnesses and subpoenaing documents as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry. Congressional Republicans, including Graham, have so far lambasted the impeachment inquiry on process grounds, claiming it denies Trump "due process," and is mostly being conducted behind-closed-doors. They also claim that Republicans are being shut out of the process, despite the fact that 48 House Republicans — almost a quarter of the entire House GOP caucus — sit on those three committees that have been questioning witnesses and reviewing documents as part of the inquiry.  On Wednesday, a group of House Republicans caused a scene in the basement of the Capitol Hill by storming and occupying the SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) where those three committees were attempting to depose Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper, documenting the incursion on social media, and even ordering pizza to the room.

Trump has gone on the attack in defending himself from the ongoing inquiry. Early on Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted, "someday, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here — a lynching." While a few Republicans condemned Trump's invocation of lynching, many Senate Republicans agreed with his characterization and the comparison between the inquiry and systemic murder of African-Americans, showing their willingness to accept Trump's hardball tactics and rhetoric. Full Story

Graham, critic of House Dem process, praised depositions in 1998 impeachment proceedings

By Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb, CNN

(CNN) - Sen. Lindsey Graham and other congressional Republicans have slammed House Democrats for conducting their impeachment inquiry with depositions behind closed doors, but Republicans also used closed-door depositions during their impeachment inquiry of former President Bill Clinton two decades ago. Then-Rep. Lindsey Graham, at a November 1998 news conference one day after Special Prosecutor Ken Starr publicly testified before the House Judiciary Committee, praised the Judiciary panel's plans to hold depositions before conducting public hearings. Graham was a key Republican on the Judiciary Committee and was one of the House impeachment managers during the Senate trial that followed.

Asked by a reporter in 1998 if he thought there would be hearings with "some of the principals," Graham said: "The depositions, I think, will determine whether or not we go forward with hearings. I think it's a very smart thing to do, to depose these people and find out what they've got to say and not drag this thing out unnecessarily. And it's going to end by the end of the year." Graham's comments could provide fodder for Democrats seeking to undercut Republican attacks that the impeachment inquiry should not be conducting depositions behind closed doors, but doing everything in public.

The closed-door depositions are just one of several lines of attack Republicans have leveled, as they're also critical of Democrats for not voting to authorize the impeachment inquiry, the President's counsel not being allowed to participate and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff's handling of the investigation. Graham introduced a resolution Thursday condemning the House's impeachment inquiry into the President. At a news conference on the resolution, Graham said the Clinton impeachment inquiry was different because it was authorized.

"In October of 1998, we authorized impeachment as a body," Graham said Thursday. "Some were behind closed doors, but the inquiry itself became very public. We had the Starr hearing to start it off with. But the President participated in a very meaningful way." Asked specifically about Graham's deposition comments from 1998, Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop noted that the circumstances were different, arguing in part that the House has not voted to authorize the current impeachment inquiry but did so 20 years ago with Clinton. "On October 8, 1998 the House of Representatives voted to authorize an inquiry of impeachment into President Clinton.

The deposition you mention below was a full month after the House of Representatives had been put on record and public votes had been cast. A strong bipartisan majority -- including 31 House Democrats -- joined Republicans in voting to authorize an inquiry of impeachment of President Clinton," Bishop said. "Today, the House is breaking and ignoring all the processes and procedures that were used in the 1998 Clinton impeachment." There are key differences in the Clinton impeachment inquiry and the current impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and Ukraine. In 1998, House Judiciary Committee launched the impeachment inquiry after Starr provided his report and mounds of evidence to Congress. The current inquiry began following a whistleblower complaint that has not received extensive investigation, and congressional Democrats are using their depositions in order to probe why security aid to Ukraine was frozen and the role Trump played in holding it up. Full Story

Lindsey Graham Gets His Own Taunting Russia-Themed Hashtag On Twitter

Move over #MoscowMitch.
By Lee Moran

Move over #MoscowMitch. The #LeningradLindsey hashtag exploded to life on Twitter late Thursday after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) helped push a controversial bill aimed at making it harder for migrants to apply for asylum on the U.S.-Mexico border through the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democrats on the committee accused Graham, the chairman, of breaking the rules with the way he forced through the partisan bill, titled the Secure and Protect Act of 2019. The legislation is reportedly not expected to be passed by the full Senate.

“It’s nuts, and probably unconstitutional.”#LeningradLindsey trends after Lindsey Graham advances a controversial asylum bill through the Senate committee pic.twitter.com/HFDcLIOaaH — Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) August 2, 2019. People on Twitter used the Russian-themed hashtag featuring the Soviet-era name for St. Petersburg to accuse Graham of “breaking procedural code.” It was reportedly started by voice-over actor Tara Dublin: #LeningradLindsey is breaking procedural code, lying to the American people, and has betrayed the principles this country was founded upon.  — AmericanChoirBoy (@Choirboytwitch) August 1, 2019. Full Story

REPORT: Evidence Outlining Senator Lindsey Graham’s Links to Russian Oil Money and a Campaign Finance Scandal via Democratic Coalition

Authoritarianism Expert Suggests That Lindsey Graham is Compromised by Russia After Being Hacked

By Brandon Gage

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was a tough critic of Donald Trump before he was elected president. In the year-and-a-half since Trump took office, however, Graham has become a staunch defender of the president. Graham has gone from a supporter of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference to a dissenter, calling for the probe to end. On Sunday, Graham appeared on Fox News Sunday and said the Mueller investigation was “corrupt to the core” and that a special counsel should be appointed to investigate the Justice Department and the FBI.

These [FBI] investigations against Trump were corrupt to the core. They gave Clinton a pass, and we need a special counsel to look at all things at the Department of Justice and FBI when it came to the Trump investigation, particularly the counterintelligence investigation. Washington Post opinion columnist Jonathan Capehart asked on MSNBC’s Am Joy what could be prompting Graham’s change of heart. Lindsey Graham, talk about confusing, he confuses me. On some days he is ‘the president must be held accountable,’ and then here he seems to be carrying the president’s water. Can you explain what he is doing? Authoritarianism expert Sarah Kendzior offered a possible explanation as to why this is the case. Kendzior opined that Graham’s waffling may be tied to the hacking of the RNC during the campaign.

“I can offer some theories. Lindsey Graham was one of the people who called for the investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to the Kremlin,” Kendzior said. “He did that all the way back in 2016 before Trump was inaugurated. He has then done a complete 180. He’s been supporting Trump, he’s been covering for Trump.” Kendzior noted that Graham’s emails were also hacked and although the contents of those emails have not been released, Graham’s defense of Trump could indicate the Senator fears what’s in those emails. “There are a few things we should remember,” she said. “The RNC was hacked; no one knows what happened to those emails. Lindsey Graham personally was hacked and nobody knows who has those emails. The RNC is complicit financially and politically and broadly in what the Trump campaign has done in terms of illicit interactions with Russia.”

Kendzior then suggested that Graham could be, albeit involuntarily, “mixed up” in the RNC’s financial entanglements with Russia, which would explain the change in his behavior. “We have tracked all of those financial ties and there’s pretty good chance that either voluntarily or involuntarily Senator Graham has gotten mixed up in the situation and cannot be an objective observer,” she explained. Kendzior added that Graham has strayed from his reputation as an anti-corruption firebrand in the Senate. Full Story
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