Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), lashed out at House Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry against President Trump, after the House released transcripts of private testimony given by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and former U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker.
Shortly after the release, asked if he would read the transcripts Democrats are releasing, Graham said he’s “written the whole process off,” and called it a “bunch of [expletive].”
The transcripts, newly released on Tuesday, Nov. 5, revealed that Sondland revised his prior testimony to acknowledge that he told a top Ukrainian official U.S. aid wouldn’t likely resume unless the country released a statement about fighting corruption. Sondland’s revised testimony prompted many Democrats to interpret that as evidence of a quid pro quo.
Graham said “that’s his opinion,” adding, “I don’t think the president did anything wrong.”
Democrats launched the inquiry based on an anonymous whistleblower complaint about the July phone call the president had with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The complaint accused President Trump of using U.S. military aid to Ukraine to secure an investigation by the Ukrainian government into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son for political gain.
The White House later released the transcript of the phone call showing that President Trump did not explicitly leverage military aid in order to get Ukraine to investigate. Zelenskiy also confirmed that he did not know the military aid was being withheld at the time of the phone call.
“You have to accept President Trump is the president, that is the problem. They don’t accept that President Trump won the election,” said Graham in an interview with Fox News’s” Hannity.” “America hates sore losers, as much of any country on this planet. This is an unfair process, being driven by sore losers.”
The White House claims the release of two transcripts Tuesday shows “there is even less evidence” for impeachment than previously thought.
Press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that Sondland’s testimony didn’t “identify any solid source” for his acknowledgement that he understood by September that American aid to Ukraine was linked to a public statement promising to investigate corruption in the country.
“No amount of salacious media-biased headlines, which are clearly designed to influence the narrative, change the fact that the President has done nothing wrong,” she added.
Includes reporting from the Associated Press