The House impeachment proceedings led by Representative Adam Schiff has advanced to the stage of releasing transcripts of testimonies provided by witnesses via closed-door hearings; setting the stage for a public hearing in which Republicans will have a chance to question witnesses.
Trump’s “Read the Transcript” call could backfire against him, since his message may very well apply to the witness transcripts freshly released by the Schiff-led House Intelligence Committee.
Now Senator Lindsey Graham is trying to correct the potential damage that the “Read the Transcript” slogan could create on their attempt to defend Donald Trump. Senator Graham is now insisting that the transcripts are products of an illegal impeachment proceeding, and therefore not worth reading.
To substantiate his refusal to read the witness transcripts, Graham introduced a resolution stating that the ongoing impeachment proceeding is a witch hunt being carried out by Democrats to remove Trump from the Oval Office.
GOP Senators’ Backing of Lindsey Graham’s Resolution May Have Given Trump the Jitters
Graham’s resolution could have put Trump’s mind at rest, if all 53 Republican Senators signed the resolution, in the same way all Republican Representatives voted against the House’s impeachment resolution. However, it was not the case, since only 44 affixed their signature to Graham’s resolution.
The outcome means nine (9) Republican Senators are starting to “Read the Transcripts” of the impeachment witnesses rather than make final judgments based mainly on blind obedience to Donald Trump.
What Constitutional Scholars are Saying about Graham’s Resolution
As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asserts, the impeachment proceeding was launched to defend the United States Constitution, which Donald Trump undermines by trying to legalize his abuse of presidential powers.
It is of interest therefore, to know what Constitutional Scholars are saying about Senator Graham’s resolution, to understand why nine GOP Senators refused to support it.
Laurence Tribe, a Professor of Constitutional Law and the Carl M. Loeb Professor of Harvard University told Newsweek that he has carefully examined the resolution to assess if any of Graham’s process complaints made historical, legal or moral sense. Yet he could not find anything in it that indicates defense of what the incumbent U.S. President has done; therefore, not worth being taken seriously
“Senator Graham’s resolution has absolutely no substance”
Harold Hongju Koh, Yale University’s Sterling Professor of International Law also told Newsweek that the due process protection being demanded by Graham, is attached only to the imminent Senate impeachment trial. Professor Koh continued by saying that since everyone knows that president Trump and his GOP loyalists will have ample opportunity to rebut the information gathered during the closed door hearings, he called Graham’s resolution
“A legally ignorant red herring.”
Frank Bowman, University of Missouri’s Floyd R. Gibson Endowed Professor of Law refuted in the Newsweek interview, Graham’s claim that the impeachment inquiry is not valid because the hearings are being carried out in secret. In truth, 40 Republican House members were in attendance during the hearings, all entitled to ask questions, all given equal time and allowed to bring along their staff members to assist them in asking questions.
“What Trump and the concurring Republican Senators are asking for, are procedural rights that are beyond those given to a defendant facing lengthy incarceration