Some senators are trying not to comment on evidence in the House impeachment inquiry because they may sit in judgment of that evidence and its implications for the president if the House does impeach Trump. But then you have the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who says he will ignore it because he doesn’t want to hear it:
That is after, mind you, word got out that the U.S. ambassador to the European Union had “refreshed” his original testimony and now confirmed that military aid to Ukraine had been withheld in hopes of securing Ukrainian cooperation with investigations Trump wanted. This is a pretty big deal, as the New York Times reports:
A critical witness in the impeachment inquiry offered Congress substantial new testimony this week, revealing that he told a top Ukrainian official that the country likely would not receive American military aid unless it publicly committed to investigations President Trump wanted.
The disclosure from Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, in four new pages of sworn testimony released on Tuesday, confirmed his involvement in laying out a quid pro quo to Ukraine that he had previously not acknowledged. The issue is at the heart of the impeachment investigation into Mr. Trump, which turns on the allegation the president abused his power to extract political favors from a foreign power.
Graham’s not interested. He’s no impartial “juror” the way some senators, including Republicans, have cast themselves. His mind’s made up.
In that respect, Graham is reminiscent of the infamous Indiana Republican congressman Earl Landgrebe, who had this to say the day before Richard Nixon resigned the presidency in 1974:
Don’t confuse me with the facts. I’ve got a closed mind. I will not vote for impeachment. I’m going to stick with my president even if he and I have to be taken out of this building and shot.
Ol’ Lindsey didn’t go that far. But he might as well have done so. When you try to imagine scenarios wherein enough Senate Republicans voted for Trump’s removal from office to make it a lively prospect, you have to remind yourself that Graham is one of the most influential in their ranks, particularly on this issue. And his mind is already made up.