House Democrats called Trump to testify on Thursday.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is not happy that Donald Trump has been called to testify in his upcoming impeachment trial, telling reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday that it is not in "anybody's interest" for Trump to have to defend his own conduct.
"It's just a nightmare for the country to do this," Graham said, according to the Washington Post, adding that calling Trump to testify is "just a political showboat move."
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), one of the House impeachment managers for the trial, sent a letter to Trump and his legal team on Thursday asking for Trump to provide testimony for the trial.
"Presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton both provided testimony while in office — and the Supreme Court held just last year that you were not immune from legal process while serving as President — so there is no doubt that you can testify in these proceedings," Raskin wrote in the letter. "Indeed, whereas a sitting President might raise concerns about distraction from their official duties, that concern is obviously inapplicable here. We therefore anticipate your availability to testify."
Trump's legal team already said Trump will not testify, writing in a letter to Raskin, "the use of our Constitution to bring a purported impeachment proceeding is much too serious to try to play these games."
Trump's impeachment was not "purported." It happened on Jan. 13, with 10 House Republicans joining all House Democrats to charge Trump with one count of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, after the riot left five people dead and over a hundred law enforcement officers injured. The trial for the charge begins on Feb. 9.
Graham has been trying to help Trump defend himself in this second impeachment. He first tried to secure Trump a competent legal team, but that team parted ways with Trump days before the trial was set to begin, leaving Trump to have to bring on new lawyers.
Graham has also issued threats to Democrats, saying if they called witnesses at the trial, then Republicans would call witnesses too. Graham suggested Republicans would seek testimony from the FBI about the origins of the insurrection, though it's unclear why that would be a danger for Democrats.
"If you open up that can of worms, we'll want the FBI to come in and tell us about how people preplanned this attack and what happened with the security footprint of the Capitol," Graham said in a Feb. 1 interview on Fox News, adding, "You open up Pandora's box if you call one witness."
Republicans have already indicated there are almost certainly not 17 GOP senators who will vote to convict Trump — the number needed for a successful conviction.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.