In a powerful commentary Thursday night, Cuomo blasted Graham’s ridiculous, non-binding resolution denouncing the House’s impeachment process.
Cuomo began by noting that the actual evidence in the form of sworn statements and texts “by Republicans on Team Trump” point to “an obvious abuse of power” by Donald Trump. “So when you don't like the facts and the proof comes from your own people, the only way to defeat the process is to fight the process itself,” Cuomo added.
“Enter Senator Lindsey Graham,” Cuomo continued. He played a quote of Graham introducing his resolution and calling the impeachment inquiry “out of bounds," “inconsistent with due process as we know it” and “a substantial deviation from what the House has done in the past regarding impeachment of other presidents.”
We soon saw Graham “substantially deviating” from past behavior. Cuomo pointed out that “Senator Supercilious” praised the closed-door depositions used in the Clinton impeachment investigation. "The depositions, I think, will determine whether or not we go forward with hearings. I think it's a very smart thing to do, is to depose these people and find out what they've got to say and not drag this thing out unnecessarily," the Clinton-impeachment Graham said.
“Now Graham says it's a lynching. Then it was a very smart thing,” Cuomo added. Not only that, Graham has acknowledged Trump’s wrongdoing.
CUOMO: Really? So that's reverse speak for you know he did do something wrong and you think you can sell that now because the bar is “very major crime” to impeach. That's Graham now.
Cuomo contrasted that with a clip of Graham saying about the Clinton impeachment, “You don't even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role.”
Cuomo further pointed out – with video – that both Presidents Nixon and Clinton showed contrition and concern for the wellbeing of the country vis-à-vis impeachment.
Trump, on the other hand, “is a toxic opposite to presidents past,” Cuomo said. He played another video clip, this time of Trump boasting that his now-infamous call to the president of Ukraine was “great” and “absolutely perfect.”
Then Cuomo delivered his coup de grâce to Trump and Graham:
Graham is at war with his own words. And why? The reason is as ugly as it is obvious. Graham and all the others on the right who know their past proclamations of principle are now anathema to what they're doing. Their mobbish attacks of a process they once embraced. You're not acting like lawmakers but as defense counsel for a potential law breaker. Graham can't be New Coke and Classic Coke at the same time.
This hypocrisy would be hysterical if the situation weren't so heavy.
Here's the proposition. If you don't want to assess what is obvious and ensure that the presidency is not a constant source of patronage and positioning for personal advantage, you know, honoring your constitutional duty, then resign and join the president's legal team. Because you know this process is no less fair than impeachments past. What has changed is you, sir.