(CBS) — Staunch Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham is slamming Democrats for “shutting the president out” of the House impeachment process, claiming members of Congress are “weaponizing impeachment” for future presidents to come.
“I have nothing but disdain for this,” Graham told CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” claiming the quick timeline of the House probe was “bad for the presidency.”
“I think this whole thing is a crock,” he said. “You’re shutting the president out. The process in the House, any partisan group could do this in the future. You’re weaponizing impeachment. And I want to end it. I don’t want to legitimize it. I hate what they’re doing.”
Over the course of the impeachment saga, however, the White House repeatedly defied House subpoenas for documents and blocked key administration officials from testifying in inquiry into President Trump’s alleged quid pro quo arrangement with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
While the probe now moves to the full House for a vote on two articles of impeachment and then to the Senate for trial, Graham suggested he would be willing to hear directly from Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani concerning his dealings with Ukrainian officials – an area of concern cited directly in House Democrats’ impeachment report.
Giuliani recently suggested to CBS News’ Paula Reid that when he was in Ukraine in the past few days he had to purchase a separate suitcase because he came back with so many documents for a counter-report he wants to compose.
“Rudy if you want to come and tell us what you found I’d be glad to talk to you,” Graham said. “I don’t know what Rudy found. I don’t know what he was up to when he was in the Ukraine.”
Graham has voiced support for a shortened version of a Senate trial, as opposed to weeks-long testimony – something the president himself said he would be willing to consider. He said he wants the process to end “as quickly as possible,” adding, “I don’t want to legitimize it.”
Part of that speedy process, according to Graham, could entail witness testimony from Giuliani.
“I want to end this matter quickly and move on to other things. We can look at what Rudy’s got and Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and anything else you want to look at after impeachment, but if Rudy wants to come to Judiciary Committee and testify about what he found he’s welcome to do so,” Graham added.
Watch more of Sen. Lindsey Graham’s interview this Sunday only on “Face the Nation”