Graham: Trump should fight Dem subpoenas 'like hell'

Graham: Trump should fight Dem subpoenas 'like hell'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMcConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate MORE (R-S.C.) called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE to defy subpoenas from House Democrats, calling the lawmakers “political hacks,” according to CNN.

Graham, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called on Trump to “fight like hell” against subpoenas demanding that the White House turn documents over to congressional committees.

The South Carolina Republican, who is up for re-election in 2020, told CNN that he is "OK with a politician fighting another politician," and rejected any accusations that Trump obstructed justice in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's investigation.

"Obstruction of justice to me is absurd because the President cooperated fully," Graham told CNN. "So if the House wants to keep doing this, if I were the President I'd fight like hell."
 
"The Mueller report is the last and final word on everything (about) Trump's campaign for me," he added.
 
Mueller noted in his report on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election that the evidence did not find Trump committed a crime, but that it did not fully exonerate him on the question of obstruction of justice. 
 

House Democrats are ramping up efforts to continue investigating Trump on obstruction, noting that Mueller' detailed 10 episodes related to alleged obstruction that were subject to his team's scrutiny. Trump said last week that he would fight "all the subpoenas" issued by the House, arguing that his cooperation with Mueller's investigation was sufficient.

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CNN also asked Graham about his past comments during the impeachment of former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonFormer Senate Dem leader: 'No way' impeachment trial for Trump would lead to conviction Former Senate Dem leader: 'No way' impeachment trial for Trump would lead to conviction Pelosi: House Democrats 'not even close' to backing impeachment MORE.

Graham, who was then a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said in 1998 that former President Richard Nixon became subject to impeachment when he “failed” to answer a subpoena, “because he took the power … over the impeachment process away from Congress."

When CNN asked him about the quote, Graham responded “I said that?” and added that the situations were not analogous because Nixon had defied subpoenas from special prosecutor Leon Jaworski, not Congress.

"Their guys are political hacks right now," Graham said. "Mueller was the guy I was looking to -- not Nadler, not Lindsey Graham, not any of us, not a Republican."

In 1998, Graham voted for an article of impeachment charging Clinton with “impair[ing] the due and proper administration of justice” and saying he “refused and failed to respond to certain written requests for admission and willfully made perjurious, false and misleading sworn statements.”

In the CNN interview, Graham denied he was partisan in his view of impeachment, noting he was the only Republican to vote against any of the articles of impeachment against Clinton, breaking with his party on an impeachment article related to alleged lying in a civil case.