Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), while talking to reporters on the sidelines of the Senate impeachment trial, predicted that a majority of Republican senators would likely vote in favor of testimony from former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and the “whistleblower.”
Graham also said Republicans would be interested in hearing from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) official who allegedly worked with Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.
Now that Trump’s defense team is finished making its argument to exonerate the U.S. president, Senators will vote on whether they want to hear from additional witnesses. Both Democrats and Republicans will be able to call on witnesses.
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Graham declared on Tuesday:
I’ll make a prediction; there will be 51 Republican votes to call Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, the whistleblower, and the DNC staffer at the very minimum.
You have to be willfully blind and say that Democratic misconduct doesn’t matter to you not to believe that the [U.S.] president had a good reason to ask the Ukraine to look into the Biden affair… as much as I like Joe Biden, he needs to answer questions of why he allowed his son to continue to receive millions of dollars from [allegedly corrupt Ukrainian company] Burisma when he should’ve known it was a conflict of interest.
Democrats have dismissed allegations of wrongdoing by the DNC and the Bidens as conspiracies. They have taken the Bidens’ denial that they did nothing wrong at face value.
Graham credited Trump’s defense team with laying out a “damning” case against the Bidens’ involvement in Ukraine during the Senate trial on Monday.
He noted that there is a “tsunami of evidence” that Hunter Biden serving on the board of directors for Burisma while his father was in charge of U.S. policy towards Ukraine was “inappropriate.”
Despite concerns raised by officials from inside and outside the Obama administration, as well as Democrat-allied newspapers, that Burisma was corrupt and Hunter working there could be perceived as a conflict of interest for his father, the former vice president’s son made millions working for the company between 2014 and 2016.
Graham told reporters:
There’s not a scintilla of evidence that the Bidens connection to the Ukraine is inappropriate, there’s a tsunami of evidence. So the House managers told the senate this is baseless, it’s been debunked. And I think the defense team yesterday made a damning indictment of what Hunter Biden and Joe Biden allowed to happen and is not in America’s interest to let this ever happen again in the Ukraine where Hunter Biden basically turned it into an ATM machine.
If they end up calling on witnesses, Republicans will explore whether the activities of the Bidens in Ukraine amount to corruption and conflict of interest, Graham stressed.
“We’ll explore that and whether or not there’s any credibility to the idea that the DNC may have been working with the Ukraine [to interfere in the 2016 election on behalf of Hillary Clinton],” he continued.
Democrats have been mainly pushing to get testimony from Trump’s former national security advisor John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
New revelations allegedly made in a book by Bolton, expected to be released in March, have pressured some Republicans to indicate they may join Democrats in voting for additional witnesses and evidence. Democrats only need four Republicans to join them to make their wish for more witnesses come true.
Citing excerpts from Bolton’s book, the New York Times claims that the former high-ranking Trump official wrote that the U.S. president withheld security aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate corruption allegations against the Bidens.
Trump’s defense team and officials from inside and outside the government indicate that the American president’s concerns may have merit. Democrats argue that Trump was trying to benefit politically from a Ukraine investigation into White House hopeful Joe Biden and his son.
A “whistleblower” complaint accusing Trump of engaging in a quid pro quo in which he leveraged U.S. aid to push Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and possible U.S. election interference in 2016 triggered the impeachment. The “whistleblower” claimed Trump engaged in the quid pro quo during a July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump and Zelensky have denied the allegations.