Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has signaled that he wants to shut down a Senate impeachment trial of President Trump with all deliberate speed.
“When 51 of us say we’ve heard enough, the trial is going to end,” Graham told Maria Bartiromo of Fox News. “The president’s going to be acquitted.”
Such a rush to judgment would be a massive political blunder and, ironically, makes it more likely that the Democratic House will impeach Trump for abuse of power, obstruction of Congress, or both.
If the Senate summarily rebuffs the House’s articles of impeachment, perhaps with an early January motion to dismiss, there will be no Senate trial of President Trump. If so, numerous people will not come forward for questioning:
No whistleblower. No House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. No former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. No former Democratic National Committee staffer Alexandra Chalupa. No Hillary Clinton.
Beyond that, many questions that demand answers would not be asked. These include:
Who is the whistleblower and what are his or her motives or biases?
Was there any collusion between the whistleblower and Schiff?
Did Schiff spy on the phone records of Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.; President Trump’s personal attorneys; and at least one prominent journalist? If not Schiff, who subpoenaed these private AT&T and Verizon phone records?
What did Hunter Biden do for Burisma – the crooked Ukrainian natural gas company? Why was he hired? And for how much money?
Was Joe Biden trying to shield his son when he threatened to withhold a $1 billion U.S. loan guarantee until former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko fired Viktor Shokin, that country’s prosecutor general who was probing Burisma, on whose board Hunter Biden reportedly received between $50,000 and $83,333 per month to serve?
Did Joe Biden receive any direct or indirect benefits from Hunter’s dealings with Burisma?
What was the role of Alexandra Chalupa – a veteran Democrat activist, and alumna of both the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton White House – in recruiting diplomats in Ukraine’s embassy in Washington to interfere in the 2016 election by digging up dirt on candidate Trump and his associates?
What role did Chalupa play in peddling to U.S. journalists Christopher Steele’s anti-Trump dirty dossier filled with Russian disinformation?
Weren’t Chalupa’s actions the very model of inviting foreign interference in a U.S. election? If so, isn’t this far, far worse than what President Trump is accused of doing?
To what degree did Hillary Clinton and her campaign pay for and disseminate the Steele Dossier?
To what extent did Hillary Clinton and her campaign collude with Chalupa and her contacts in the Ukrainian government and, thus, welcome international intervention in the 2016 election?
What did Hillary Clinton know, and when did she know it?
Graham told Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures” that all of these questions can be asked as part of the regular Senate oversight process.
“He [President Trump] may want to call Schiff, he may want to call Hunter Biden, he may want to call Joe Biden,” Graham said. “But here’s my advice to the president: If the Senate is ready to vote and ready to acquit you, you should celebrate that. And we can look at this other stuff outside of impeachment.”
Memo to Senator Graham: AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN!
It will be very difficult for the potential witnesses mentioned above to avoid an order to appear at a historic Senate impeachment trial that the whole world is watching. If Hunter Biden is summoned to such a momentous gathering and he doesn’t show up, every American will notice, and his father’s campaign almost certainly would suffer. “What are the Bidens hiding?” voters would wonder.
Likewise, the whistleblower, Schiff, Chalupa and the rest would find it very difficult not to sit down and answer these and other questions under oath as part of only the third Senate impeachment trial since America’s birth.
But if there is no Senate trial and merely a motion to dismiss the House’s articles of impeachment, these witnesses will breathe a collective sigh of relief strong enough to topple a palmetto tree.
If Adam Schiff had no problem hiding on Monday from the House Judiciary Committee as it reviewed his own impeachment report, he certainly will feel zero pressure to cross the U.S. Capitol to testify at a mere hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Hunter Biden is not going to come out of hiding for such an occasion. The whistleblower’s identity will remain secret and fuel decades of speculation and conjecture, much like President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and its cottage industry of competing homicide hypotheses.
A swift dismissal also would mean no tie-up of Democratic presidential contenders Sens. Michael Bennett of Colorado, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts on the Senate floor while caucuses and primaries unfold in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, and possibly even the Super Tuesday states.
Instead, they all will be able to vote No on a motion to dismiss charges and then hop on the next carbon dioxide-spewing Gulfstream to Cedar Rapids.
In short, the Stupid Party has alerted the Evil Party that it need not pay any price for putting America through this absurd national nightmare.
If House Democrats had to fear these consequences of a Senate trial, they would think twice and thrice about voting for impeachment – especially the 31 House Democrats in districts that Trump won in 2016. If 18 of them were made sufficiently nervous, impeachment could die in the House, which would be a massive win for Trump and the GOP.
Instead, Nervous Nancy Pelosi and her comrades can signal their virtue, pound their chests, and then revel collectively in the warm, runny feeling of finally having impeached President Trump. Alas, and surely unwittingly, Sen. Graham has made it far easier and far cheaper for House Democrats to do exactly that.