Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) joined Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and other GOP senators in announcing on Tuesday their intentions not to watch the first public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry slated to begin Wednesday morning.
“Why am I not going to watch this tomorrow? Because I think it is a threat to the presidency. I don’t want to legitimize it, it’s un-American, it denies the basics of due process,” Graham told Sean Hannity on Fox News
“No American, including Donald Trump, should be accused of misdeeds without confronting their accuser, which is the whistleblower, and no American should be denied the ability to tell their side of the story by calling witnesses to explain their defense. That’s being denied the President of the United States,” he said.
Earlier Tuesday, McConnell told reporters that he would not be watching impeachment, and instead took aim at Democrats for “heel-dragging” on President Trump’s USMCA trade deal with Canada and Mexico.
“Tomorrow, I’m going to be paying attention to what we’re doing in the Senate,” McConnell said. “House Democrats have enough time to continue their three-year-old obsession with impeaching the president, but they cannot find the time to pass a landmark trade deal that would create 176,000 new American jobs.”
McConnell was joined by Senators John Cornyn (R., Texas), Roy Blunt (R., Mo.), Joni Ernst (R., Iowa), and Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), who said they would not watch the live hearings.
“I think it’s a political sideshow, and I’ve got more important things to do,” Cornyn said. “The House has its job to do, and then when it comes to us, that’s when our job kicks in.” The others said their schedules wouldn’t permit them to tune in.