Lindsey Graham 'not trying to pretend to be a fair juror' for impeachment trial

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Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham joins Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in stating a desire to rig the Senate impeachment trial for Donald Trump.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has no intention of weighing the evidence against Donald Trump in a likely Senate impeachment trial, admitting on television that he will support Donald Trump no matter what.

"I am trying to give a pretty clear signal I have made up my mind," Graham told CNN on Saturday. "I'm not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here," he added.

"This thing will come to the Senate, and it will die quickly, and I will do everything I can to make it die quickly," Graham also said. Graham made the comments at the Doha Forum in Qatar.

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However, before the trial begins, Graham would have to swear or affirm that "in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, president of the United States, now pending, I will do impartial justice, according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God." And if the House passes one or both articles of impeachment against Trump, Graham would be one of 100 jurors in a Senate trial presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee recommended two articles of impeachment against Trump: one for abusing his power when he asked Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee, and a second for obstruction of Congress. In a report to the full House, the Judiciary Committee outlined "multiple federal crimes" committed by Trump. The full House is expected to vote on articles on Wednesday.

Graham joins Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in publicly expressing a desire to rig any Senate trial to ensure Trump faces no consequences for the deeds uncovered by the impeachment investigation.

On Thursday, McConnell told Sean Hannity of Fox News that he was colluding with White House lawyers to ensure some members of the Senate jury and the defense team were on the same page.

"Everything I do during this [trial preparation], I'm coordinating with White House counsel," McConnell said. "We'll be working through this process, hopefully in a fairly short period of time, in total coordination with the White House counsel's office and the people who are representing the president in the well of the Senate," he added.

The biased positions of Graham and McConnell irked some of their senate colleagues.

"It isn't just the president who's on trial in an impeachment proceeding," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "The Senate is on trial. I hear people like Senator McConnell talking about the fact he sat down with folks at the White House, he's already made his decision even before he's taken his oath to promise impartial justice," he added.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) asked Americans to call their senators and ask for a fair trial.

"Please. Light up all of the phones," Schatz wrote on Twitter in reactions to Graham's comments. "Lindsey and Mitch have already decided to rig this, but they only succeed if we can't get four republican votes on basic process questions."

Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, and impeachment trial procedures must be approved by a majority. If four Republicans join with all Democrats, there is a chance a majority of senators could force a fair, un-rigged trial.

If the House impeached Trump, a Senate trial would likely take place in January 2020.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.