Oct 24, 2019

44 Republicans sign onto Graham resolution condemning impeachment inquiry

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced a resolution in the Senate Thursday condemning the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, calling on the House to vote to open a formal inquiry and provide Trump with "fundamental constitutional protections."

"If you can drive down a president's poll numbers by having proceedings where you selectively leak information, where the president who's the subject of all this is pretty much shut out, God help future presidents."
— Graham to reporters

The big picture: The Trump administration has said they will not cooperate with the inquiry because it is "unconstitutional," arguing that the president has been denied his due process rights. Republicans have also alleged a lack of transparency in the impeachment process, staging a protest that delayed one of the House's witness depositions on Wednesday. The resolution calls for Republicans to be granted equal subpoena power in all proceedings.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell worked with Graham to ensure the resolution's language was palatable to the Republican conference, according to a Senate aide.
  • 44 Republican senators have signed onto the resolutions, according to Graham.

What they're saying:

"The House of Representatives is abandoning more than a century’s worth of precedent and tradition in impeachment proceedings and denying President Trump basic fairness and due process accorded every American."

Between the lines: Axios' Jonathan Swan notes that influential figures in the Trump base, including Donald Trump Jr., have pressured Graham to take more action as Senate Judiciary chairman to combat House Democrats on impeachment.

  • A source close to Trump Jr. told Swan: "If you’re going to talk the talk on Fox, you better walk the walk in the chamber. And a resolution is just talk. People expect action."
  • Asked by reporters if he's being pressured by the White House to launch investigations, Graham said: "Yeah, I’ve been asked to call some people to the committee. That makes no sense to me. ... I’m going to do it the way I want to do it. I’m not going to turn the Senate into a circus."

What to watch: The resolution could force some vulnerable Senate Republicans who have wavered on impeachment and Trump's calls for foreign powers to investigate his political opponents to go on the record.

Read the resolution

Go deeper: How an impeachment inquiry works

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Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Protesters on Tuesday evening by the metal fence recently erected outside the White House. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday night across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day — prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: The Army moved 1,600 soldiers from out of state into D.C. area, the Defense Department confirmed in a statement Tuesday. Protesters were still out en masse after curfews began in cities including Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles and Portland.

Primary elections test impact of protests, coronavirus on voting

Election official at a polling place at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the midst of a global pandemic and national protests over the death of George Floyd, eight states and the District of Columbia held primary elections on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, needs to win 425 of the 479 delegates up for grabs in order to officially clinch the nomination. There are a number of key down-ballot races throughout the country as well, including a primary in Iowa that could determine the fate of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

Iowa Rep. Steve King defeated in GOP primary

Rep. Steve King. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

State Sen. Randy Feenstra defeated incumbent Rep. Steve King in Tuesday's Republican primary for Iowa's 4th congressional district, according to the Cook Political Report.

Why it matters: King's history of racist remarks has made him one of the most controversial politicians in the country and a pariah within the Republican Party.