Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., isn’t buying the legitimacy of the whistleblower’s complaint against President Trump – calling the allegations leveled against the president for his July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “all hearsay.”
“This seems to me like a political setup,” Graham said on CBS’ “Face The Nation.” “It's all hearsay. You can't get a parking ticket conviction based on hearsay. The whistleblower didn't hear the phone call.”
Graham, who has adamantly defended the president amid the whistleblower’s allegation, said that he had “zero problems” with Trump’s conversation with Zelensky as outlined in the transcript released by the White House.
The phone call – and the subsequent whistleblower complaint – is at the center of the impeachment inquiry that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced on Tuesday.
Trump had urged Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Joe Biden has acknowledged on camera that, when he was vice president, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings — where Hunter Biden was on the board. Shokin himself had been separately and widely accused of corruption.
While the transcript shows Trump pressing Ukraine to "look into" the Bidens, it does not show the U.S. president explicitly linking that request to U.S. aid -- millions of dollars of which had been frozen days earlier.
“This whole thing is a sham,” Graham said on Sunday. “Who is this whistleblower? What bias do they have? Why did they pick this whistleblower to tell a hearsay story? The transcript does not match the complaint.”
He added: “This thing stinks.”