Trump’s close ally vows to quickly kill impeachment

A day after US President Donald Trump said he is not bothered about the brevity or longevity of the Senate trial if the House votes to impeach him, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, above, vowed to quash the impeachment soon after it reaches the Senate, agencies report.

Speaking at a forum in Qatar on Saturday, the chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee said instead of waiting for a trial, he would see to it that the impeachment “dies quickly.”

Graham said he wants to hear no witness testimony in the Senate trial. Instead the House should make their case based on the record they established and vote.

Graham defended Trump’s move to investigate Hunter Biden, son of the president’s political rival Joe Biden, over his business dealings with a Ukrainian energy company Burisma caught in a corruption scandal.

Two months after the home of the company’s president was raided, the prosecutor general Viktor Shokin was fired.

The incident happened when Joe was vice-president and there were reports alleging that Joe threatened to withhold $1 billion from Ukraine in 2015 if it did not act against Shokin.

When Trump took office as president, he had been briefed about alleged nexus between corrupt politicians and businessmen of the US and Ukraine.
The partisan impeachment hearings on party lines by the House Intelligence Committee and the House Judicial Committee conveniently avoided this corruption angle in the case.

Trump told media on Friday that no wrong has been committed by him and it does not matter whether the trial is going to be long or short.

He said he would follow whatever Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Graham tell him to do.

However, he hoped the process would be long enough to see the whistle-blower whom he called a fraud.

Describing the partisan impeachment hearings as a witch-hunt, sham and hoax to remove him from office, Trump warned that someday a Democrat president and a Republican House will remember what Democratic lawmakers are doing to him now.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham called the impeachment inquiry a desperate charade.

So far, the House has denied the president fair treatment and ignored the due process, Grisham alleged.

Republican Doug Collins of the House Judiciary Committee said Democrats are trying to kneecap democracy.

The full House is set to vote on the two articles of impeachment week. The articles accuse Trump of abusing his office and obstructing Congress in his dealings with Ukraine.

In the meantime, Donald Trump Jr has appealed to his father’s supporters to call and send mails to Democrats who are seeking re-election from Trump’s strongholds late next year to pressure them back the president during the Senate vote next week.