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Republican group targets Graham in ad calling for fair Senate trial

Republican group targets Graham in ad calling for fair Senate trial
© Greg Nash

A Republican group is launching a new ad targeting Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBiden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden Let's give thanks to Republican defenders of democracy MORE (R-S.C.) after the House on Wednesday voted to impeach President Trump

The new Republicans for the Rule of Law ad quotes Graham pushing the Senate to allow witness testimony during the impeachment of former President Clinton, the group announced Wednesday. 

“Once upon a time Lindsey Graham was in favor of a fair impeachment trial,” a narrator says in the 30-second ad

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It then cuts to a clip of Graham during the time of Clinton’s impeachment, telling reporters: “In every trial that there has ever been in the Senate regarding impeachment, witnesses were called. When you have a witness telling you about what they were doing and why, it’s the difference between getting the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

“Lindsey Graham, the rules of a fair trial haven't changed, why have you?" the ad narrator continues. "Let the witnesses testify."

Graham said Wednesday that he will reject attempts to call witnesses during Trump’s Senate trial, and on Sunday he said he is ready to vote and doesn’t need to hear from any witnesses. 

The ad will run on digital platforms and air as a commercial during Fox’s “Fox & Friends” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday in Washington, D.C. It will also run on “Morning Joe” in New York City. 

“There is no more fundamental American value than a fair trial. Fairness means each side gets to make their case in front of an impartial jury,” Republicans for the Rule of Law Executive Director Sarah Longwell said in a statement. “The point is to get to the truth. Republicans have demanded the truth in every previous impeachment, and they should do the same now."

“Regardless of outcome, a fair process is vital for the Constitution and the country,” she added. 

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A spokesperson for Graham was not immediately available for comment Wednesday night. 

The group has been pressing GOP members to take the impeachment inquiry seriously. It recently launched a billboard in Times Square, as well as about a dozen GOP-held districts, asking: “What is Trump hiding?” 

The House voted largely along party lines in favor of two articles of impeachment, charging Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiClub for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Governors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight MORE (D-Calif.) declined to say when or if Democrats will deliver the articles to the Senate. Democrats have been skeptical that the GOP-controlled chamber will conduct a fair trial based on comments made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge Biden and reproductive health rights Biden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls MORE (R-Ky.).