Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will likely have to abandon another line of defense in the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump after a transcript revealed additional evidence of a quid pro quo with Ukraine.
In a transcript released by the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland confirmed that Trump expected Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son in exchange for military aid and other favors.
“I now recall speaking individually with Mr. (Andriy) Yermak, where I said resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks,” Sondland told the committee, according to the transcript.
Sondland’s transcript is seen as the latest public evidence of a quid pro quo with Ukraine’s government.
In defending Trump just last month, Graham said that he was not compelled by evidence of a quid pro quo in the transcript of the U.S. president’s call with Ukraine’s president.
Speaking to Axios in October, Graham speculated about the type of evidence that was released today by the committee.
“Sure. I mean … show me something that … is a crime,” Graham said. “If you could show me that, you know, Trump actually was engaging in a quid pro quo, outside the phone call, that would be very disturbing.”
Graham had not reacted to Sondland’s revised testimony by the time of publication.
Graham, who just yesterday complained that the full Sondland transcript had not been released and that a failure to do so was an abuse of power, now says he refuses to read any of the transcripts, dismissing them as "BS."