WASHINGTON – Senator Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters on Tuesday that he had no plans to read the newly-released testimony in Parliament's impeachment investigation, calling the entire trial unlawful. "Sham."
"I've written off the whole process," says Graham, according to CBS News and The Associated Press. "I think that's a bunch of B.S."
The South Carolina Republican had previously demanded the publication of the certificate. He was a leading critic of the closed-door hearings conducted by the democratically controlled committees and described them as "a star chamber study".
Graham also rejected the updated testimony of Gordon Sondland, the US Ambassador to the European Union. In its revised statement, Sondland admitted that it had informed a Ukrainian official that US military aid would be held back until Ukraine announced the initiation of a 2016 election investigation and an energy company linked to former Vice President Joe Biden.
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Sondland's statement contradicts the repeated allegation of President Donald Trump that there is no compensation in which he and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani used the help as a lever to launch these two investigations, from which the President could benefit politically.
In an Axios interview last month, Graham had suggested that he might be prepared to vote for Trump's removal if such consideration were provided.
"If you could show me that Trump is actually engaging in a consideration outside of the phone conversation, that would be very disturbing," Graham said.
But on Tuesday, Graham said that Sondland's statement was just "his opinion." He pointed to the refusal of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to be urged to investigate, and to the fact that Ukraine finally received the aid as proof that Trump had done nothing wrong.
"The President of Ukraine did not believe that and the President of the United States on the phone did not say that," said Graham. "Well, all this is just an intrigue for me."
"I do not care what a bureaucrat says," Graham added, though Sondland is not a foreign-service official, but a wealthy Republican giver.
Graham – who described the impeachment investigation as "lynching" in all respects – said the "substance" of the allegations against Trump was "not worthy of impeachment discussion."
Although Democrats say the transcript of a telephone call between Trump and Zelensky on July 25 confirmed the whistleblower complaint that triggered the investigation, Graham said he had not seen anything wrong with the call.
"I do not care what anyone else is talking about says the call, "he said on Tuesday. "The call I made is OK."
When the whistleblower complaint appeared for the first time, Graham said that Congress could not sue a president on the basis of "hearsay," since the whistleblower had not heard directly of any consideration or appeal on July 25. Graham supported the Complain of the whistleblower and joined Trump, Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky. and others who had asked the person to come forward.
"The whistleblower law should never give you anonymity," Graham told reporters.
Last month, he introduced a resolution condemning the impeachment investigation and demanding a vote and public hearing in which Trump's lawyers can confront his prosecutors, publishing the transcripts and opening public hearings in the coming weeks.