Lindsey Graham In 1998: President Can Be Impeached For Not Complying With Congressional Oversight
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina and a staunch defender of President Donald Trump, is being criticized this week for having an inconsistent tone regarding what he’s said about the impeachment of a president in the past versus the situation presently confronting him.
Trump officials are presently stonewalling on subpoena orders from Democratic committee heads in Congress. The president has stated that he won’t comply with the orders without a fight.
“We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” Trump said earlier this week, according to the New York Times. “These aren’t, like, impartial people. The Democrats are trying to win 2020.”
Graham has been relatively silent about Trump’s statement. But in 1998, when he was a representative in the House and part of an effort to impeach then-President Bill Clinton, Graham cited the same methods that Trump is currently using as impeachable offenses.
Lindsey Graham explains that a president stonewalling Congressional oversight is an impeachable offense. pic.twitter.com/tv88AilKUJ
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) April 26, 2019
In a speech that has been unearthed and is currently going viral on social media, Graham discussed the fact that Richard Nixon, during the Watergate scandal, did everything he could to prevent Congress from getting his records or speaking to members of his inner circle.
Graham compared Nixon’s actions to Clinton’s, and said what the latter had done in office was worthy of consideration for impeachment as well.
“The day Richard Nixon failed to answer that subpoena is the day he was subject to impeachment because he took the power from Congress over the impeachment process away from Congress, and he became the judge and jury,” Graham said.
It’s not the only time Graham has been called out for his hypocrisies regarding the impeachment process. Earlier this week, per previous reporting from HillReporter.com, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) pointed out that Graham had previously urged Congress to impeach Clinton for any reason — not just criminal behavior, as the current president is asserting on social media.
“Impeachment is about cleansing the office,” Graham said in 1998. “Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
Some Democrats are preparing themselves to take action against Trump administration officials if they continue to refuse to comply with subpoena orders — including the possibility of arresting and jailing said officials for doing so.