MEDIA
08/22/2018 04:03 am ET

Lindsey Graham’s Old Comments About Impeachment Come Back To Haunt Him

The South Carolina senator had a seemingly different view in 1999.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) once believed that it didn’t take a conviction or even a crime for impeachment

He made the case not today, with President Donald Trump in office, but in 1999 when President Bill Clinton was impeached and Graham was a member of the House of Representatives. 

“You don’t have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this Constitutional Republic,” Graham said in a 1999 clip posted on Twitter by MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell

He said a president could get the boot if Congress decides “your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds”: 

“Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”

Graham was one of the House prosecutors during the Clinton impeachment proceedings. 

“You couldn’t live with yourself knowing that you were going to leave a perjuring judge on the bench,” he said in 1999. “Ladies and gentlemen, as hard as it may be for the same reasons, cleanse this office.”

On Tuesday, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to illegally interfering in the 2016 presidential election, saying it was “at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” ostensibly Trump, who legal analysts say may now be an “unindicted co-conspirator.” Also on Tuesday, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted on eight counts, including five charges of tax fraud.

In response to these criminal proceedings, Graham said the legal system was working.

“Thus far, there have yet to be any charges or convictions for colluding with the Russian government by any member of the Trump campaign in the 2016 election,” he said on Twitter.

Graham also called for allowing the process to “continue without interference” and for special counsel Robert Mueller to “conclude his investigation sooner rather than later for the benefit of the nation.”  

(h/t Raw Story)

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