His words are coming back to haunt him. A clip of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) saying that an impeachable offense doesn’t have to be an actual crime was played at President Trump’s impeachment trial Thursday. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) played the clip from former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999 while arguing that “high crimes and misdemeanors” do not necessarily have to be violations of written law. “What’s a high crime?” Graham said in the clip, referring to an “important person hurt[ing] somebody of low means.” “I think that’s what they meant by high crimes. Doesn’t even have to be a crime. It’s just when you start using your office and you’re acting in a way that hurts people, you’ve committed a high crime.” Graham left the chamber shortly before the clip was played, and Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) patted Graham’s empty chair when the clip was shown. Republicans have defended Trump by arguing that the articles of impeachment—given to the Senate by the House following their impeachment inquiry—do not accuse the president of a statutory crime.
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