Journalist Bob Woodward said on Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE’s Senate allies are “choking” in their defenses of his call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which has become the center of an impeachment inquiry, according to the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

“I know Republican senators, and they are choking on this,” Woodward said during a talk in Spokane, Wash. “Whether they say that’s too much, I don’t know.”

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When Whitworth University President Beck Taylor asked Woodward whether Trump soliciting Ukraine and China to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE was criminal, Woodward responded: “No, it’s probably not criminal, because no one ever thought to make a law about it,” prompting laughter from the audience.

The journalist also told Taylor that Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), one of Trump’s most vocal allies in the upper chamber, had told him “he couldn’t count the money fast enough” referring to donations since the announcement of the impeachment inquiry in September.

In the same talk, Woodward, who rose to fame for his reporting during the Watergate era, described assuming for 25 years that President Gerald Ford’s pardon of former president Richard Nixon had corrupt motivations.

He said it was not until he interviewed Ford a quarter century later that he came to believe the pardon was in fact a necessary, even courageous act to help the nation move on from the Watergate scandal.

“He said, ‘I needed my own presidency,’ ” Woodward said, according to the newspaper.