Political News

Graham congratulated Schiff on 'good job' in presenting argument in Senate impeachment trial

Posted January 23, 2020 10:31 a.m. EST
Updated January 23, 2020 1:51 p.m. EST

— Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham congratulated Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead House impeachment manager, on a job well done after day two of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump wrapped.

Graham, a juror in the Senate trial and ally of the President, explained to reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday why he praised Schiff, saying he believed their team delivered a good presentation.

"He's well spoken, did a good job of creating a tapestry, taking bits and pieces of evidence and emails and giving a rhetorical flourish, making the email come alive -- sometimes effectively, sometimes a little over the top," the South Carolina Republican said about Schiff, who has been laying out the House's case against Trump.

In a photograph captured by a HuffPost reporter and posted Wednesday, Graham is shaking Schiff's hand as Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island looks on, smiling. All three lawmakers are former prosecutors.

"A professional compliment, I would call it, by another prosecutor," Whitehouse told CNN's John Berman on "New Day" Thursday of the moment between Graham and Schiff.

"It was sort of a nice human moment in which Sen. Graham, who I think are adversaries on this subject but friends, both stopped to congratulate a man who had a hard day, but a good day," he said.

Whitehouse, a Democrat, argued that you can "agree or disagree on what conclusions to draw," but that Schiff did a "very good job as an advocate in a very long day on the Senate floor yesterday."

Graham said Thursday that Democrats "did a good job of taking bits and pieces of evidence and creating a quilt of it."

"So what I'll tell my colleagues is the other side gets to talk, and see if they can pull a thread here and pull a thread there, and see if it holds up," he added.

He then suggested that House mangers haven't done a good job dismissing questions he has regarding former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden's ties to the Ukrainian gas company, Burisma.

Graham has previously said he would do everything in his power to make the Senate impeachment trial "die quickly."

"I am trying to give a pretty clear signal I have made up my mind. I'm not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here," Graham, of South Carolina, said last month, adding, "What I see coming, happening today is just a partisan nonsense."

Graham held a news conference on Wednesday to say it would be an "uphill battle" for him to vote to convict Trump, since "the best group of people to pick a president are the voters -- not a bunch of partisan politicians."

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