Activist group requests ethics probe of Graham's impeachment comments

Left-leaning activist group American Democracy Legal Fund (ADLF) has asked the Senate Ethics Committee to launch an inquiry into Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamObama announces first wave of 2020 endorsements Trump putting TikTok ban on hold for 45 days: report This week: Negotiators hunt for coronavirus deal as August break looms MORE’s (R-S.C.) remarks about President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE's looming impeachment trial.

In a Dec. 17 letter to the committee that was made public Monday, the group cited Graham’s public comments that he has “made up” his mind and that he is “not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here.”

Graham has made similar comments to reporters throughout the impeachment process.

ADVERTISEMENT

“In Senator Graham’s own words -- he is not even going to pretend to follow his constitutionally required oath of impartiality,” ADLF President Brad Woodhouse wrote in the letter. “This statement not only indicates Senator Graham’s clear intention to violate a sworn oath, but further calls into question the integrity of any impeachment trial that is held in the U.S. Senate.”

A spokesperson for Graham’s office declined to comment, and a spokesperson for the Senate Ethics Committee was not immediately available for comment.

“Senator Graham is clearly incapable of following Senate rules or complying with his ethical duties as a member of the U.S. Senate,” Woodhouse said in a statement to The Hill. “We are therefore demanding a thorough investigation into his misconduct by the Senate Ethics Committee.”

Democrats have criticized Graham for his comments, accusing him of violating the oath senators will take ahead of the impeachment trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellProfessional sports players associations come out against coronavirus liability protections Democratic leaders report 'some progress' in talks with White House Top GOP senator urges agencies to protect renters, banks amid coronavirus aid negotiations MORE (R-Ky.) has also been criticized for his remarks that he will work in “total coordination” with the White House throughout the process.

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann Murkowski300 green groups say Senate has 'moral duty' to reject Trump's public lands nominee Senate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  On The Money: Unemployment benefits to expire as coronavirus talks deadlock | Meadows, Pelosi trade criticism on stalled stimulus talks | Coronavirus recession hits Social Security, Medicare, highway funding MORE (R-Alaska) joined Democrats in condemning McConnell’s comments, telling local Alaska NBC-affiliate KTUU last month she was “disturbed” by his remarks.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video Trump says he's considering executive action to suspend evictions, payroll tax Trump won't say if he disagrees with Birx that virus is widespread MORE (D-Calif.) has not sent the two House-passed articles of impeachment to the Senate over concerns about the parameters and fairness of an impeachment trial in the GOP-controlled upper chamber.

McConnell has signaled he is not willing to meet Democrats’ demands that top White House officials testify as part of the impeachment trial. Former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonCongress has a shot at correcting Trump's central mistake on cybersecurity The 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence Senate-passed defense spending bill includes clause giving DHS cyber agency subpoena power MORE threw a curveball into the impeachment process Monday when he announced that he would be willing to testify in the Senate trial if subpoenaed.