Graham defends call to investigate Bidens: ‘My conscience is clear’
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) doubled down on his call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden’s involvement in a Ukrainian energy company, saying the U.S. is not going to be a country where only “Donald Trump and his family gets” investigated.
“My conscience is clear. I love Joe Biden as a person, he is a really decent man, he’s had a lot of tragedy in his life, but I have a conscience very clear right now. And I have a duty, if the House is going to shut it down the Senate is going to pick it up,” Graham said Monday speaking to reporters in Charleston, S.C., about the possible probe.
Graham is pushing for an investigation into Hunter Biden’s connection with the Ukrainian company Burisma Holdings. He is asking for the former vice president to release his calls with the former Ukrainian president as part of the investigation.
“I’m not saying Joe did anything wrong, but I want to see the transcripts, and if there’s nothing there I’ll be the first one to say there’s nothing there,” Graham said.
“I believe that Hunter Biden’s association on that board doesn’t pass the smell test. If a Republican was in the same boat they would be eaten alive by the media,” Graham added.
I love Joe Biden as a person but we are not going to give a pass to what is obviously a conflict of interest.
I believe Hunter Biden’s association on the Burisma board doesn’t pass the smell test.
If a Republican was in the same position, they’d certainly be investigated!
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) November 25, 2019
Graham said “we’re not going to live in a country where only one party gets investigated” and only “Donald Trump and his family gets looked at.”
Biden has fiercely defended his and his son’s actions in association with Ukraine. Other Democrats seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in the primary alongside Biden have come to the vice president’s defense over the issue.
Biden has maintained that his position was to “root out corruption in Ukraine” and that he was conducting transparent policy. A spokesperson for the Biden campaign wasn’t immediately available for comment in response to Graham’s Monday remarks.
Former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker pushed back on allegations about Biden during his testimony last week. Volker said he “rejected” Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s “conspiracy theory that Vice President Biden would have been influenced in his duties as vice president by money paid to his son.”
And multiple reports, including fact checks by The Associated Press and The Washington Post, have debunked Trump’s allegations that Biden put any pressure on officials in Ukraine to fire a top prosecutor because he was investigating Burisma, noting that the investigation into Burisma had been stopped by the time Biden came out against the prosecutor.
But Graham claims that “nobody … has looked at whether or not Hunter Biden used his political influence to protect the company he was serving on.”
“We are not going to have a country that ignores that because everybody in the media hates Trump,” Graham said.
“I like Joe Biden. All I can say is that Joe didn’t pull any punches when he ran against McCain. That’s the way the system works. I like him fine, but we’re not going to have two systems,” Graham added.
He made similar comments Monday in an interview on Fox News Radio, saying his “friendship with these people” won’t keep him from “asking questions that somebody needs to ask.”
Graham also railed against the House impeachment probe into President Trump. The senator told reporters in Charleston he supported former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the president because he “trusted” Mueller — but echoed Trump in depicting the House inquiry as a partisan fight.
“I do not trust what’s going on in the House of Representatives. I do not trust Adam Schiff to be fair to the president,” Graham said, referring to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Witnesses appearing in front of the House in the last couple of weeks testified over allegations that Trump solicited foreign interference in the 2020 presidential election. Democrats allege Trump withheld foreign aid to Ukraine until the country launched an investigation into the Bidens.
The alleged quid pro quo is at the center of the impeachment inquiry. U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testified last week there was a quid pro quo and that it was widely known throughout the administration.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing or quid pro quo.