Tuesday on “The Hugh Hewitt Show,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said it would be an impeachable offense if President Donald Trump were to fire special counsel Robert Mueller.
Partial transcript as follows:
HEWITT: I’m joined now by United States Senator Lindsey Graham, who I’m sure is following this story as everyone else is. That’s very alarming, Senator, the spread of IED technology just makes you wonder how long it was going to take to come to the United States.
GRAHAM: Yeah, I’m afraid it’s gotten here, and we’ll see when we catch this guy or gal.
HEWITT: Okay, now let me ask you, back in the day, a long time, ago, 1998, you were one of the 13 impeachment managers named by the House to press the case against Bill Clinton. So this is going way back. So I have a very simple question. If the President fired Robert Mueller, do you think that would be an impeachable offense?
GRAHAM: Probably so, if he did it without cause, yeah.
HEWITT: Now Angus King said no last hour. Why do you think it would be?
GRAHAM: Well, I think what the President will have done is stopped an investigation in whether or not his campaign colluded with the Russians, what effect the Russians had on the 2016 campaign. I can’t see it being anything other than a corrupt purpose.
HEWITT: You see, I am in agreement with you that an impeachable offense is anything that the Congress says it is, regardless of what scholars might say. And I believe the Congress would say that if it were run by Democrats. Do you think a Republican-led House would impeach the President?
GRAHAM: Well, that’s a good point. Let’s say that Obama fired somebody. I think we’d all have a different view on the Republican side. A high crime and misdemeanor in the Constitution is a fairly vague term. But what is at the essence of impeachment is a check and balance on a President, right?
GRAHAM: …who’s gotten out of their lane, who changed the rule of law and basically turns it upside down. I can’t think of a more upsetting moment in the rule of law to have an investigator looking at a president’s campaign as to whether or not they colluded with a foreign government, what kind of crimes may have been committed. I’ve seen no evidence of collusion, but to stop investigation without cause, I think, would be a Constitutional crisis.
HEWITT: Have you told him that specifically, Senator Graham, so that he hears it from Republicans, do not fire Bob Mueller?
GRAHAM: I think I just, I think I just did.
GRAHAM: Yeah, so here’s the bottom line. The FBI’s handling of the dossier was really unprofessional, inappropriate. The Clinton email investigation was a joke. McCabe probably deserves to be fired, but I can’t say until I look at all the evidence. Maybe so, maybe not. so the President’s right to be upset with the Department of Justice being overly political. He would be wrong, in my view, to try to stop this investigation without cause on the Mueller side. They’re disconnected in time. Mueller came along long after this. He’s looking at things unrelated to the dossier. And we’re a rule of law nation. And it goes for both parties.
HEWITT: Now Secretary Clinton said on this show you can hold two thoughts. And I’ve always repeated that. We can hold the thought that the Special Counsel ought to be left alone, and at the same time, hold the thought that the FISA warrant was badly abused and that we need a second Special Counsel for that.
HEWITT: People tend to think you have to be one or the other, but you can actually believe both, right?
GRAHAM: Well, I do believe both. Weeks ago, I called for a second special counsel. Why? This is not in Mueller’s lane. So Mueller’s looking forward and what the Russians did to our election, if there was any collusion between the Trump organization, were there any crimes committed. Somebody needs to look at the Department of Justice’s handling of the Clinton email investigation, and the abuse of the FISA warrant process. Why not DOJ? They can’t grade their own homework. Somebody outside the system needs to take a fresh look. Why not the inspector general? The inspector general doesn’t have the institutional tools to investigate this matter. If you don’t work at the Department of Justice, he has no power to interview you. So you need a second counsel to look at how the FBI agents behaved when it came to the Clinton email scandal. Was the fix it? When they had an insurance policy, they were talking about taking an insurance policy out.
HEWITT: 100 percent agree.
GRAHAM: And they talked about leaving Andy’s office. Was that McCabe’s office? So we need to look at that.