Asked by Fox News host Neil Cavuto on Friday if he believes everything President Trump has said on the subject of his alleged campaign-finance violations, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) let out a laugh as he said, “No. He’s always under siege. He is saying this one minute and that the next. It’s what he does that matters.”
From there, Trump’s most loyal servant in the Senate compared the president’s lies about whether or not he paid to keep women silent about their alleged affairs to President Bill Clinton’s lies about having “sexual relations” with Monica Lewinsky. “I voted against that article of impeachment, because I think most people, blindsided, would lie to protect their family,” Graham added. “Lying about sex wasn’t enough then for me and it’s not enough now.”
When Graham noted that he was the only Republican who voted against “that article of impeachment,” he was referring to the House Judiciary Committee vote in the perjury charge related to the Paula Jones case. The then-congressman said at the time he was giving Clinton “the legal benefit of the doubt” because of confusion surrounding the definition of “sexual relations.” As he famously asked during that first impeachment hearing, “Is this Watergate or Peyton Place?”
However, Graham voted yes, along with every other Republican, on two other counts of grand jury perjury and obstruction of justice related to the Monica Lewinsky affair. On top of that, when the impeachment proceedings went to the Senate, Graham served as one of 13 “managers” from the House Judiciary Committee, essentially acting as a prosecutor in the push to remove Clinton from office.
“You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body determines your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role,” Graham said in that capacity of President Clinton in January 1999. “Because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
Just under 20 years later, he has no problem with the president of the United States “lying about sex” and allegedly defrauding voters to help put himself in office.