Lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation is a federal offense that can result in a jail term of up to five years in federal prison and a fine. The penalty can be up to eight years if the lie involves domestic or international terrorism.
Yet, Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) downplayed the seriousness of the crimes that multiple members of the Trump administration—and the campaign that preceded it—have already pleaded guilty to in his appearance on CBS’s Face The Nation today.
Speaking with host John Dickerson, Senator Graham claimed that lying to the FBI is not “a big event.” A member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Graham nonetheless dismissed the severity of the crimes that Mueller has already uncovered in the course of his investigation.
“Well you’ve got to look at the substance of what people pled to. Some people pled to lying to the FBI like Papadopoulos and got two weeks in jail. So I don’t see this a big event. Manafort could have a lot of stuff or he could just have stuff around, you know, financial transactions.”
Graham, who has previously been a harsh critic of the president, calling him a “race-baiting xenophobic bigot” back in 2015, has turned into just another staunch Republican apologist for Trump, particularly since his good friend John McCain left Washington to get treatment for the brain cancer that eventually led to his recent death.
The change in Graham’s tone towards Trump has had many observers wondering whether Graham has any hidden skeletons in his closet that the administration has been using to get him to toe their line.
It’s worthwhile to recall that Graham was a member of the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton before joining the Senate. He needs to be reminded that the comments he addressed to Clinton at the time would be equally applicable to President Trump today.
“If this body [Congress] determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role . . . because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
One has to speculate that, partisan posturing aside, Graham must surely still believe what he said back then. With the honor and integrity of the presidency at an all time low under Trump, the time for restoration is now.
You can watch a clip of Senator Lindsey Graham on Face The Nation in the video below.
.@LindseyGrahamSC says he trusts Mueller to do his job: I'm intent on making sure that Mueller completes his investigation without political interference and I can answer questions about the report once it's issued. pic.twitter.com/Ovi6uB01RJ
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) September 16, 2018
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