During an interview on Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace looked to stump Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham by playing a clip of Graham’s own words about former United States Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
The clip pertained to whether or not a sitting president was obligated to follow a subpoena from Congress.
At the time, Graham described the duty of the president to cooperate with congressional oversight and to abide by the subpoena request. Wallace drew a contrast with Graham’s current take on President Trump—which the South Carolina senator claims is well within his rights to resist congressional subpoenas.
“You call all of what’s going on in Washington a circus, but you took a different view back when you were leading the impeachment effort against Bill Clinton back in the late ’90s,” Wallace said to Graham, BizPac Review reports. “At that time you said that any president, and you talk specifically about Clinton and Richard Nixon, who defied Congress when it came to subpoenas was in danger of impeachment.”
In the video, Graham said, “You’re becoming the judge and jury, it is not your job to tell us what we need, it is your job to comply with things that we need to provide oversight over you.”
“Question: Why is it an impeachable offense for Clinton or Nixon back then to ignore a congressional subpoena, but it’s okay for President Trump to do now?” the Fox News asked the senator.
BizPac Review adds:
Ignoring that after 2 years and more than $30 million dollars, special counsel Robert Mueller found zero evidence of collusion with Russia and stopped short of charging the president with obstruction of justice, Wallace tried to use Graham’s own words against him by playing a clip of the lawmaker commenting on a president ignoring a subpoena.
The context being that the clip was in regard to the impeachment of Clinton, who lied about his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Lost in the mix is that even though Trump cooperated with the Mueller probe, there are five Democrat-led House committees currently investigating the president, with most of them looking to rehash the Russian collusion investigation under the latest political narrative that Trump engages in a cover up.
Not only did Graham remind Wallace that Trump cooperated, he told him Mueller is the “final word” here.
Graham, unfazed by the question, said that there were two major distinctions between the cases.
“Well, there’s two things here,” Graham defended. “The Mueller investigation was a special counsel appointed to find out if the president committed a crime, if he colluded with the Russians, if he obstructed Justice, the president gave 1.4 million documents to Mueller, everybody around the president was allowed to testify, he never claimed executive privilege. He complied, no cover-up work with Mueller, Mueller’s the final word on this for me.”
He continued: “So if Clinton had stiffed [independent counsel] Ken Starr, that’s different. What [House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry] Nadler is doing is trying to destroy the president and his family. If I were the president, I would fight back against this political revenge coming out of the House.”