The senator from South Carolina thinks lying is OK if you're a Republican.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of Trump’s leading defenders, has previously said he believed a president who lies to the public and deceives America should quit or be impeached.
But Graham apparently thinks that standard should only apply to a Democratic president.
“The Mueller report to me is vindication of President Trump,” Graham told Fox News host (and Trump superfan) Sean Hannity on Monday night. “They’re going to be stampeded to impeach Trump because they hate him so much, and I hate it for the country, I hate it for the president, but it’s going to result in him getting reelected.”
But when Graham led the impeachment charge against President Bill Clinton as a member of the House Judiciary Committee in the 1990s, his tune was very different when the president was a Democrat.
“He is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the land. He encouraged people to lie for him. He lied. I think he obstructed justice,” Graham said of Clinton in 1999. He also called Clinton "out of control," and said it "would be better for him to leave office than stay in office."
Yet Graham considers the Mueller report a "vindication" for Trump — even though the report lays out evidence that Trump encouraged people to lie for him and obstructed justice.
In a 1999 floor speech, Graham also argued in reference to Clinton, "You don’t have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this Constitutional Republic."
When the president was a Democrat who he believed had broken the public trust, Graham felt secure in recommending the harshest penalty possible from Congress.
“Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office,” he said of Clinton.
Many Republicans in Congress are defending Trump by claiming he can't be impeached unless he committed a crime, and then lying about the Mueller report to claim it found no evidence of Trump committing a crime.
Graham's comments about Bill Clinton show just how hypocritical and disingenuous those arguments are.
"Sen. Graham himself established a standard that demands Trump’s impeachment," wrote Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), referring to Graham’s 1999 comments.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Graham slammed Trump repeatedly. But once Trump got power, Graham started singing a different tune.
It seems that the more time on the golf course Graham has gotten with Trump, the further he has strayed from his old position on impeachment and lying. (That goes for other principles, too; Graham is also fine with Trump’s attacks on his dead “friend,” Sen. John McCain.)
But now that his golf buddy Trump has been shown by the Mueller report to have engaged in corrupt and even criminal conduct, Graham clearly no longer cares about "restoring honor" to the presidency.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.