GOP lawmaker urges Graham to reconsider speedy impeachment trial

GOP lawmaker urges Graham to reconsider speedy impeachment trial
© Greg Nash

Republican Rep. Jim Banks (Ind.) is urging Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDemocrats duke it out in most negative debate so far Republicans give Barr vote of confidence Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response | Top official warns virus appears inevitable in US | Democrats block two Senate abortion bills MORE (R-S.C.) to rethink his support for a speedy trial if President TrumpDonald John TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE is impeached. 

"We need to take our time and figure out exactly how Congress found itself in the current situation: poised to impeach a president on a completely partisan vote with no evidence and flimsy charges just before his re-election bid," Banks said in a Wednesday letter to Graham that was obtained by The Hill. 

His letter follows recent statements made by Graham in a Fox News appearance, in which Graham said, "When 51 of us say we’ve heard enough, the trial is going to end. The president’s going to be acquitted."

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Referring to those remarks, Banks wrote, "Your comments to the press recently reveal your undergirding philosophy regarding impeachment, and I urge you to reconsider your position on conducting a speedy trial."

Banks in his letter said that witnesses such as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOcasio-Cortez: Trump would 'never' say to her face some of the shots he takes at her on Twitter John Ratcliffe back under consideration by Trump for top intel job Trump says he wants 'no help from any country' in 2020 election MORE (D-Calif.), Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE and the whistleblower whose complaint ultimately led to the impeachment proceedings should testify. President Trump and his allies have previously called for the testimony of these individuals but Senate Republicans are reportedly weighing not calling witnesses in the interest of a quick process. 

The Republican congressman in the letter to Graham accused Democrats of "trying to peddle a false story about Ukraine."

"House Republicans have done all they can to push back and expose their motives to the American people, soon it will be at your doorstep," he added. "Take your time, learn the facts and show the American people how this all began."

A spokesman for Graham declined to comment, citing focus on a Wednesday hearing featuring Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who was slated to testify on his office's probe regarding alleged surveillance abuse by the FBI during the 2016 election. 

House Democrats this week introduced two articles of impeachment into Trump, accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

If Trump is impeached, he would face a Senate trial.