Graham Encourages Trump Jr. To Defy Senate Subpoena

There was a curious moment this weekend when Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, publicly advised Donald Trump Jr. that he should ignore the subpoena issued to him by the Senate Intelligence Committee. It is virtually unprecedented for the chairman of one Senate Committee to encourage a witness to defy another chairman of a Senate Committee. It is even more bizarre when the first chairman heads the Judiciary Committee.

Graham told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on Sunday “If I were Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer, I would tell him, ‘You don’t need to go back into this environment anymore. You’ve been there for hours and hours and nothing being alleged here changes the outcome of the Mueller investigation.’ I would call it a day.”

Graham later walked back that irresponsible statement by saying that Trump Jr. should show up and take the Fifth: “You just show up and plead the Fifth, and it’s over with.” 

That is better but not ideal. Graham is still encouraging a witness to defy a fellow Republican chairman in a congressional investigation.

There is no principled basis to defy the Senate or refuse to answer any questions. Attorney General Bill Barr has just ordered a new investigation into the origins of the FBI investigation. That is based on the view that many Americans have lingering questions about these controversies. However, you cannot demand such answers on one side while telling others not to give answers on the other side. The Senate Intelligence Committee still has questions for Trump Jr. That is its prerogative to pursue answers. Period.

37 thoughts on “Graham Encourages Trump Jr. To Defy Senate Subpoena”

  1. Since the subpoenas are not issued by the Congress but only sent over to the Attorney Generals Department of Justice they aren’t really worth much anyway. Contempt of Congress. Checked out their approval ratings lately?

  2. For those of you still not paying attention, this is exactly how Trump will lose his bid for re-election in 2020. Remember?

    “The system is rigged. She never should’ve been allowed to run. Crooked H; Lock her up.”

    Have you all forgotten that already? How could you forget that? Trump is now abusing his power to rig the system. And he should be allowed to run. Crooked D; Vote him out.

      1. L4D says: Here’s something that Smith did not censor:

        “[Y]ou’ve only got two things left they can’t sweat out of you or beat out of you. Your balls. And you better hang onto them.”

  3. If you are dealing with principled people then you act in a principled behavior. What we know from the last 2 years is that the Democrats are NOT principled they are only PARTISAN. Regardless of who issued the subpoened it is unwarranted just like the 6 FISA documents, Comey, Schiff, Susan Rice, Bruce Ohr, Steele, the leaking and unethical Dem committee members, etc. The process is unethical, harassment, targeted based on political power grabs. Refuse to play 3rd grade playground bullying games.

    1. Partisanship is not wrong in itself. Of course we all should aspire to a common good. But it is through parties and the conflict between them which we hope that the common good will arise. this is the vision of the two-party state which is inherent in contemporary liberal democracy.

      In America, however, there is also an Executive branch, necessarily so as in any modern state, and how the Chief exercises its powers may become as equally “illiberal” as how the opposing party may seem at any given time. I remember when Obama was POTUS and some people were always complaining about his executive orders. Well the new guy uses them too.

      The silly think is Democrats think only they are allowed to be partisans. No, two can play at the game.

      1. Bi- and Cross-Partisanship is socialist code for ‘Cave To The Left.’ We don’t send people to Congress to rubber stamp foreign ideologies.

  4. JT: “There is no principled basis to defy the Senate or refuse to answer any questions.”

    What? Pleading the fifth is not a principled basis for refusing to answer questions? This is from a Professor of the Constitution! Unreal.

    1. Good catch Ivan. Maybe the House Judiciary wants Turley to voice the same opinion for them.

      1. if he’s been cleared of criminal conduct then it’s hard to plead the Fifth

        but they have been telling us here that he’s under investigation from the NY state for potential violations of whatever laws, so, I guess he does have a meaningful basis to plead the Fifth

        Graham can make whatever comments he likes. Decorum is wonderful but this is a partisan war of attrition, let’s get real. Republicans need to be tough!

        1. Decorum is wonderful but this is a partisan war of attrition, let’s get real. Republicans need to be tough!

          That reminds me of the 1974 version of The Longest Yard and this exchange:

          Paul Crewe: Nate, if you’re thinking about winning this game, then you’re as crazy as he is.

          Nate Scarboro: Well, maybe so. But you spend fourteen years in this tank, you begin to understand that you’ve only got two thing left they can’t sweat out of you or beat out of you. Your balls. And you better hang onto them, because they’re about the only thing you’re gonna have when you get out of here.

          Some Republicans have grown a pair and are finally fighting back.

        2. The worst thing you can do when under investigation by people looking to destroy you is voluntarily testify. They will set you up for a perjury trap even if they can’t find anything after trolling through your life. That’s why we have the fifth.

  5. Anon says: the “Constitution” is the rule of law for our country and of particular concern for those who are entrusted to protect it and work within it.”

    Several years ago, a reporter speaking to a congressman regarding an issue asked, “What about the Constitution?” The congressman responded, “Oh……we never look at that.”

  6. Maybe Jr. should follow the Comey rule. When questioned in Congress Dec 2018 behind closed doors about Clinton’s email scandal, Comey said,
    “I don’t recall”—8 times
    “I don’t remember”—71 times
    “I don’t know”—166 times

    1. Unfortunately for you and your ilk, this isn’t reddit. In fact, this website is frequented by lawyers; most of whom don’t prattle like third-graders fighting over jello. Because of this fact, most here recognize your baseless, unsubstantiated and unsupported claim is nothing more than whimsy and make-believe since you haven’t cited to any source, such as a news story published by a reputable source–unless of course you believe your tale exposes a “secret” which only those who possess the proper “secret decoder ring” can access. If that is the case, then you will fit in snugly with the other wackjob wingnuts who fantasize around here.

      this is to “since it’s Tuesday, I start on the bong extra early, and then I just start making up sh*t for the hell of it” gabby

  7. How about posting some (a lot) on the Horowitz, Barr and Durham investigations into the conspiracy to undue a legal American election. Start stirring the beehive and hold these people accountable.

  8. There is no principled basis to defy the Senate or refuse to answer any questions.

    Sure there is. When people lose respect for another body, disregarding them is expected.
    The Dems in the US House have done exactly that towards the Executive so stop expecting Americans to do what the US House does effortlessly daily.

    step pretending as if the leaders of our Federal government command esteem, honor or our respect. The neighbor’s dog commands more respect and at least he is useful: he barks when necessary.

  9. It has been suggested by columnists that the ranking member either wants to stir the pot and/or wrap things up with a neat bow and that Burr is accomodating in the interest of bipartisan peace.

  10. (music)
    Who who tooka my soda cracker?
    Does your momma chaw tobacca?
    If your momma chaws tobacco then ….
    Lindsey Graham’s a southern cracker!

  11. It might occur to you that Graham knows something about what Richard Burr’s up to that you don’t.

    Burr has a generally starboard voting record but also has a history of temporizing or ducking-and-hiding during pointed controversies. (Critics noted that Burr was completely AWOL during the Duke rape case).

  12. Graham hasn’t looked like that in years. He’s now angry and mean and mean and looks it. He’s also decided that being a toadie is better than being a lawyer or a public servant.

      1. You mean for suggesting something inconvenient to whatever lawfare games you want Congressional committees to play.

        1. Absurd, the “Constitution” is the rule of law for our country and of particular concern for those who are entrusted to protect it and work within it. Among those are the separation of powers principle which is intended to check the accumulation of too much power by one branch or another, and especially by the capitulation of toadies like Graham to his gold partner and “Daddy” who also happen to have a powerful position in another branch. So far the Toady and his most of GOP brethren have surrendered the power of the purse to their cult leader and are about surrender subpoena powers to him as well.

          I do wish the Toady would at least send flowers before trying to …. his fellow senators and the Congress.

      2. The guy should be disbarred for undermining the constitution.

        I had to get that statement from you bolded for posterity. Maybe someone new on this blog will be fooled by your comment, but your record on here has never been about the rule of law. It’s been LAWFARE all the time. And the great thing is, people don’t need to take my word for it. It’s all captured in the blog archives.

        This has been a public service announcement.

        P.S. Who knows how useful that archive will be in the future.

    1. Graham has grown a pair and is now a fighter. Of course his enemies revile him.

      They say he is gay. If so I want more gays like this on our side.

  13. Do what the Dems have always done: lie, obfuscate, whataboutisms, disregard the US Constitution.

    step up, GOP, and imitate Trump’s interpretation of Saul Alinksy Rules for Radicals.

    Start today

    Trump’s Rules for Republicans (Adapted From Alinsky)

    It has now been several weeks since President Trump suggested sending illegal aliens to so-called sanctuary cities, and long past due to acknowledge his brilliance in setting the terms of the political debate on this and other issues.

    “Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only,” Trump tweeted on April 12. “The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy — so this should make them very happy!”

    Of course, it did not make them very happy, or even remotely happy. It made them mad, which was its true purpose. More importantly, it made them face the hard consequences of their easy political posturing on illegal immigration. Put another way, President Trump was making the left live up to its own immigration rule book.

    If that sounds familiar, it’s because it is a paraphrase of Saul Alinsky’s Rule No. 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

    Democrats have been using Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” effectively for years to keep Republicans off balance.
A Chicago political activist who died in 1972, Alinsky was the godfather of community organizing and the inspiration for progressive Democrats such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. For Republicans’ part, although always aware that Alinsky’s rules worked, they were afraid to adapt them for their own use because they were afraid of the word “radical.”

    That’s actually a demonstration of Rule No. 3: “Whenever possible go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Republicans are stuffed-shirt conservatives, remember? They won’t do anything radical; that’s just for the progressive left!

    At least, until Donald J. Trump changed politics forever in the 2016 presidential campaign.
 Indeed, as we study President Trump’s winning strategy in that election and his governing strategy in the years since, it becomes clear that the New York billionaire is a devoted student of the Chicago community organizer. From now on, indeed, we are justified in talking about Trump’s “Rules for Republicans,” as adapted from Alinsky. If other GOP politicians shy away from the formula that Trump has perfected, they do so at their own risk.

    In his prologue to “Rules for Radicals,” Alinsky made it clear that his book is about “the art of communication” and that the rules he enunciated don’t just work for radicals who want to tear down the system, but for any radicals “who want to change their world.” That, in sum, is exactly who Donald Trump is, and exactly why the Deep State and the Enduring Bureaucracy fear him. Trump understood innately the truth of Alinsky’s theorem that:

    “… there are certain central concepts of action in human politics that operate regardless of the scene or the time. To know these is basic to a pragmatic attack on the system. These rules make the difference between being a realistic radical and being a rhetorical one who uses the tired old words and slogans…”

    In this light, let’s consider that tweet about sanctuary cities again. Not only does it make Democrats live up to their own “open borders” rule book, it also demonstrates the truth of Alinsky’s Rule No. 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”

    Democrats scurried every which way to run for cover in the wake of Trump’s threat. More importantly, there actually has been some significant movement toward the president’s point of view in the last three weeks. To the shock of many, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote on April 23 that he was “more certain than ever that we have a real immigration crisis and that the solution is a high wall with a big gate — but a smart gate.”

    Friedman’s “smart gate” option was a virtual recapitulation of Trump’s border policy in prettier words:

    “Besides legitimate asylum seekers, we’ll accept immigrants at a rate at which they can be properly absorbed into our society and work force, and we’ll favor visa seekers with energies and talents that enrich and advance our society.”

    Friedman’s home newspaper could not quite bring itself to support the wall, but it did publish an editorial on May 5 that called on Congress to “Give Trump His Border Money.” Although somehow the editorial board of the Times could not sniff out a national security threat in the current flow of uncontrolled immigrants across the border, it was able to sense that hundreds of thousands of impoverished asylum seekers could indeed overwhelm our national resources, and maybe even the noble intentions of our sanctuary cities.

    The most convincing proof of Trump’s ability to sway the argument came from an unexpected source: the superannuated pop singer Cher, who wrote on her own Twitter account this raw plea to the president not to drop illegal immigrants into Los Angeles:

    “I Understand Helping struggling Immigrants,but MY CITY (Los Angeles) ISNT TAKING CARE OF ITS OWN.WHAT ABOUT THE 50,000+Citizens WHO LIVE ON THE STREETS.PPL WHO LIVE BELOW POVERTY LINE,& HUNGRY? If My State Can’t Take Care of Its Own(Many Are VETS)How Can it Take Care Of More?”

    Whoa! Sounds like the liberal Democrats who run Los Angeles and California aren’t living up to their own rule book on a whole host of issues! Thanks, Cher, for proving the president’s point.

    As for the rest of the “Rules for Radicals,” not each of them has been used by President Trump yet, but several of them are so central to his public persona that it can’t be accidental.

    Trump is master of rule No. 5, for instance: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” If you don’t think so, just ask Low Energy Jeb Bush or Crooked Hillary Clinton.

    And when it comes to rule No. 6, you can be sure that President Trump understands that “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” Candidate Trump used to try out ideas at his rallies and would stick with the ones that got a positive reaction. Thus “Build that wall” and “Drain the swamp” became central components of Trump’s winning campaign because he recognized the power of jubilation.

    What about rule No. 8 — “Keep the pressure on”? The Fake News Media can certainly attest to the fact that Trump is a master of this one, too.
 In the case of Sen. John McCain, Trump has proven he will keep the pressure on even after his nemesis is dead.

    That brings us to rule No. 13, a summation of the entire Trumpean political ethic and an explanation for why he cannot easily be defeated: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” You can go through the rogues’ gallery of Trump’s targets and nary a one of them has come through the experience unscathed: Jeb, Hillary, McCain, CNN, NATO, illegal immigrants, Congress, Democrats, Michael Cohen, Bob Mueller, Liddle Bob Corker, Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey, Little Rocket Man, or (my personal favorite) George “Mr. Kellyanne” Conway.

    President Trump always told us he was a counter-puncher; he just never revealed that his cornerman was the patron saint of liberals, Saul Alinsky. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise though. After all, they are both community organizers; it’s just that Trump set his sights a little higher.

    Welcome to MAGA country.

    1. So Saul Alinsky with whom the right wing loves to smear the Dems is now you patron saints.

      1. He’s no saint to me but I have always recognized him as a cunning strategist and organizer.

        Perhaps what the left/ Democrats don’t like is that the dialectical vigor which inhabited the prewar right, the spirit of Nietzsche (will to power) and Heidegger (our own existence as our foundational center-point), which had informed, animated, and motivated the deconstructionist and power-lusting post war left, has now invigorated the Trump lead contemporary Republican party. Better late than never.

        1. the irony here is that before the rise of Trump as POTUS there was a Russian who predicted the coming spirit. He is no political operative, no government agent. Just a philosopher. Many consider him a crank. Aleksandr Dugin. For some reason, he is banned from travel to the US by the State Department for reasons I have never understood. here is Professor Gottfried’s introduction to a book from 2012 by Dugin on Heidegger and what he means for our times

          the following is not a quote from that, just the publisher’s blurb abouut the book

          ?There are few philosophers more influential, more misunderstood, more admired, and more feared than Martin Heidegger. He is simply unavoidable for an understanding of modern thought, modern culture, and the modern world. As Alexander Dugin explores in *Martin Heidegger: The Philosophy of Another Beginning*, Heidegger traces a particular conception of being and truth-begun with the pre-Socratics and cemented with Plato and Aristotle-that has, over millennia, led the West to embrace materialism, egalitarianism, and nihilism. It is Heidegger, argues Dugin, who understood this most deeply; it is thus Heidegger who opens up space for “Another Beginning”-a new grounding for human experience. Drawing on the history of philosophy, political ideologies, and Heidegger’s relationship to Germany and Europe-and including a useful bibliography and glossary of terms-Dugin’s analysis will be of great interest to scholars as well as those encountering Heidegger for the first time”

          So I would content the most meaningful “Russian connection” was not some non-existent “collusion” imagined by Democrats, rather, actually just a sort of prophetic vision by Dugin, fulfilled to some degree in the victories of Trump.

          The vision was also elaborated in his book “Fourth Political theory.”
          check them out!

    2. The idiots of the socialist left haven’t figured out their largest opposition is not GOP RINOs but the Constitutional Centrist Coalition. I hope they stay stupid. We can raise our 40% controlling percentage of vote to a 51% plus and have legitimately defined parties

      Constitutional Republic Party for those in office
      Constitutional Centrist Coalition for the main support base



      What happened to Democrats, Democracy and Democratic?

      Rejected nine times 1789, never accepted in The Constitution and rejected competely by the progressive liberals in 1909 (the very few good parts replaced by the word Representative as in Representative Constitutional Republic.

      Think of citizens direct vote for the first word, Contract for the second word and Res Publica ‘of, by, and for the citizens for the last word.

      There is no such thing as a representative democracy.

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