In the wake of the first day of televised, public hearings of two witnesses in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump‘s dealings with the Ukrainian president, Sen. Lindsey Graham said he will not begin an impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate — should the process make it that far — until the anonymous whistleblower is revealed.
According to The Hill, Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made the comments during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, repeating to the host his insistence that the unidentified whistleblower be exposed in order to afford Trump the opportunity to face his accuser.
“I will not accept a trial in the Senate until I know who the whistleblower is,” Graham told Hannity.
His demand echoed that of House Republicans, who recently submitted a request to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff to have the whistleblower publicly testify, along with former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
The request was swiftly denied by Schiff, who essentially said that the impeachment investigation was about Trump and not the Bidens. He also argued that there was enough first-hand evidence from additional witnesses who have been interviewed in closed-door sessions over past weeks that trumps the information initially provided by the whistleblower, indicating that there’s not even a need for the anonymous person to testify anymore.
But Graham doesn’t appear to have full support for his request to expose the whistleblower from some of his Senate colleagues. As The Hill reported, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr and other GOP senators have spoken out against the idea of exposing the whistleblower.
And while it’s uncertain whether or not the impeachment inquiry will make its way to the Senate, it was also reported that leaders of the chamber, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have reportedly not yet discussed potential witnesses that would be called if the time comes, nor have they hammered out any official rules for Senate impeachment proceedings.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, earlier this week Graham declared the impeachment inquiry “invalid” until the whistleblower is revealed to the public.
“I consider any impeachment in the House that doesn’t allow us to know who the whistleblower is to be invalid because without the whistleblower complaint we wouldn’t be talking about any of this,” Graham said during an interview on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures.
The South Carolina senator also ripped into Schiff, claiming that the chairman lacked regard for the truth by not agreeing to expose the whistleblower and argued that it’s unfair for Republicans to not have a chance at cross-examining the very person who essentially set the impeachment inquiry into motion.