“I think impeachment is going to end quickly in the Senate. I would prefer it to end as quickly as possible,” Graham said. “Use the record that was assembled in the House to pass impeachment articles as your trial record.”
Asked whether it was appropriate for him to share those thoughts given his purported role as a juror in a Senate trial, Graham replied, “Well, I must think so because I’m doing it.”
“I am trying to give a pretty clear signal I have made up my mind. I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here,” he added.
Graham’s comments come after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) disclosed that he intends to work in concert with the Trump legal team on how a Senate trial will play out.
Many senators have refused to weigh in on the merits of the Trump impeachment case, citing their future role as impartial jurors. When asked to react to McConnell’s plans to take his cues from the White House counsel, spokespeople for GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Martha McSally (Ariz.) and Mitt Romney (Utah) never responded.
In a pretaped interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” that aired Sunday, Graham said he has no interest in inviting former vice president Joe Biden or his son Hunter Biden to testify in a Senate trial. Questions Republicans have for them regarding their dealings with Ukraine can be dealt with separately, Graham said.
The impeachment inquiry centers on Trump’s desire to dig up evidence of corruption by the Bidens in Ukraine and his request that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky launch an investigation.
Graham also told CBS he’d be interested in hearing separately from Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has launched his own investigation into the Bidens in Ukraine.
“I want to end this matter quickly and move on to other things,” Graham said. “We can look at what Rudy’s got and Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and anything else you want to look at after impeachment, but if Rudy wants to come to the Judiciary Committee and testify about what he found, he’s welcome to do so.”
On Saturday, a clip of Graham during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton made the rounds on social media, showing the then-representative make an appeal to his colleagues not to rush through the process or make a judgment before it’s over.
“I have a duty far greater than just getting to the next election,” Graham said then. “Members of the Senate have said, ‘I understand everything there is about this case, and I won’t vote to impeach the president.’ Please allow the facts to do the talking. … Don’t decide the case before the case’s end.”