Lindsey Graham vows to not watch 'un-American' Trump impeachment hearings

Lindsey Graham vows to not watch 'un-American' Trump impeachment hearings
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Graham invites Giuliani to testify about recent Ukraine trip MORE (R-S.C.) is vowing to not watch the public impeachment hearings scheduled in the House on Wednesday, saying that he doesn't want to legitimize what he views as an "un-American" process. 

“Why am I not going to watch this hearing tomorrow?” Graham, a vocal supporter of President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE, said on Fox News while speaking with host Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityNew York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment McConnell: I doubt any GOP senator will vote to impeach Trump McConnell says he'll be in 'total coordination' with White House on impeachment trial strategy MORE. “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.”

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The comments from Graham echo the stance many GOP senators have taken as House Democrats move forward with an investigation into Trump and his dealings with Ukraine. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment CNN's Cuomo promotes 'Dirty Donald' hashtag, hits GOP for 'loyalty oath' to Trump MORE (R-Ky.) told reporters Tuesday that he would be paying attention to the Senate's business instead of the impeachment hearings. 

“I’ve got other things to do,” Sen. John CornynJohn CornynTrump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn On The Money: Trump, China announce 'Phase One' trade deal | Supreme Court takes up fight over Trump financial records | House panel schedules hearing, vote on new NAFTA deal On The Money: Lawmakers strike spending deal | US, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline | Lighthizer fails to quell GOP angst over new NAFTA MORE (R-Texas) said. “I think it’s a political sideshow, and I’ve got more important things to do.”

Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had previously said he wouldn't watch the public impeachment hearings, calling the whole process a "sham."

Speaking one night before the House's impeachment inquiry entered its public phase, Graham repeatedly argued that the unfolding process was "un-American" because it was denying the president the opportunity to confront his accuser. 

"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 been denied to the president of the United States," Graham said, asserting that this wouldn't happen in any other civil case in the country. 

The South Carolina senator has also indicated that he won't read transcripts of testimony from key witnesses in the probe. 

"I've written the whole process off. ... I think this is a bunch of B.S.," Graham said earlier this month when asked if he would read transcripts of testimony from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and Kurt VolkerKurt VolkerPush to investigate Bidens sets up potential for Senate turf war Senate confirms Brouillette to replace Perry as Energy secretary How Democrats' missing witnesses could fill in the Ukraine story MORE, the former special envoy to Ukraine.

Sondland's testimony included an acknowledgment that Trump tied military aid to Ukraine to Kyiv launching investigations into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNew York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Graham invites Giuliani to testify about recent Ukraine trip Booker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications MORE, Biden's son Hunter and 2016 election interference. 

The House Intelligence Committee is set to hear public testimony from William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, and George Kent, deputy secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.