December 15, 2019

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday said that President Donald Trump should release his tax returns but defended the president's court battle to keep his financial information private.

Graham made the remarks during an interview on the CBS News program Face the Nation.

"This is the first impeachment trial being driven by partisan politicians," Graham complained, "conducted behind closed doors, the testimony was selectively leaked, the president was denied the ability to participate in the House hearing and I want to end it. I have nothing but disdain for this. I'm trying to make myself clear, what you're doing in the House is bad for the presidency."

In fact, a large portion of the hearings were held in public and the president's legal team was invited to participate. They declined.

According to the senior Senator from South Carolina, impeachment should take months, not weeks.

"I think this whole thing is a crock," Graham griped. "I hate what they're doing."

When it came to the baseless allegation that Joe Biden is involved in Ukraine corruption, Graham called the former vice president a "friend" but refused to defend him.

"He's one of the most decent people I've met in my life," Graham opined. "But here's the deal, this whole process around the Ukraine reeks with politics. They've done everything but take a wrecking ball to Donald Trump and his family."

"We're not going to live in a world where only Republicans get looked at," he continued. "As much as I love Joe Biden and I'm sincere when I say that, now that you want to talk about Ukraine, it's pretty hard for me to go home and tell my constituents to ignore the fact that Hunter Biden received $50,000 from a gas company in the Ukraine run by the most corrupt person in the Ukraine."

Before concluding the interview, Graham commented on a case where investigators in New York have subpoenaed the president's financial records. The Supreme Court recently said that it would hear the case.

"Do you think that any president should be able to block this from Congress?" host Margaret Brennan asked.

"If the Supreme Court rules that he has to release his financial information, he would be bound to do so," Graham agreed. "I personally think he should release his tax returns. I think anybody running for president go forward should release their tax returns, but the president has legal rights."

"We can't have laws for everybody but Donald Trump!" Graham exclaimed.

It was not immediately clear which law Graham was referring to.

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