The anonymous whistleblowers whose complaints against President Donald Trump are being used as a foundation for the impeachment inquiry launched by House Democrats will have to testify publicly if the House follows through on its threat to formally impeach the president, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said Sunday.
The South Carolina Republican spoke on the Fox News show “Sunday Morning Futures.”
To date, two whistleblowers have raised allegations concerning a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. The House has launched what it calls an impeachment inquiry, but has yet to draft any formal articles of impeachment against Trump.
Graham said once that formal step happens, if it does, everything has to be done in public.
“Here’s what’s going to happen: If the whistleblowers’ allegations are turned into an impeachment article, it’s imperative that the whistleblower be interviewed in public, under oath, and cross-examined,” Graham said.
“If that doesn’t happen in the House, I’ll make sure it happens in the Senate.”
Graham said he is following the basics of fair legal practice.
“There can be no valid impeachment process unless the president can confront the witnesses against him,” Graham said, according to The Washington Times. “Nobody in America goes to jail or has anything done to them without confronting their accuser.”
Graham said the July 25 call is hardly grounds for impeachment.
“I think it’s ridiculous to say the president did something wrong based on the phone call,” Graham told host Maria Bartiromo.
“I do want every Republican to be asked, ‘would you impeach the president based on this transcript, the phone call between the president of the United States and the Ukrainian president?’ Because, if you would, I think that is just incredibly bad judgment,” he said.
Graham admitted to being less than thrilled with Trump’s tweeted suggestion that China investigate allegations of corruption involving former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
“I think that’s a bad idea. I don’t trust anything coming out of China against Biden, Trump, me or you,” he said.
However, he said scrutiny on the Bidens is overdue.
“Somebody needs to look into Bidens, whether or not they violated the law. They sure as hell looked at the Trumps,” Graham said. “Somebody needs to look at the Bidens. I want this to be done outside of politics.”
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