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Lindsey Graham grills Gorsuch on possible Trump impeachment: He's 'not above the law

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) questioned Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch on whether President Donald Trump could be impeached if he institutes waterboarding torture tactics. Gorsuch declined to answer specifically but did say that "no man is above the law." (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

When pressed by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) on whether President Donald Trump could be impeached for implementing waterboarding, Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch contended that "no man is above the law."

Graham questioned Gorsuch during his second day of confirmation hearings on the legality of the use of waterboarding as an interrogation technique. Gorsuch answered in the affirmative when asked by Graham if the Detainee Treatment Act prevents waterboarding — which is when Graham began to ask about impeaching Trump.

"So, in case President Trump is watching — which he may very well be — one, you did a good job picking Judge Gorsuch," Graham said to laughter. "Number two —here's the bad part —if you start waterboarding people, you may get impeached. Is that a fair summary?"

Gorsuch replied that the power to impeach a president belongs to the Senate.

"That's even better," Graham responded. "Would he be subject to prosecution?"

Gorsuch declined to speculate, but when Graham pressed further and asked if Trump is "above the law," Gorsuch had an answer.

"No man is above the law," the nominee said. "No man."

The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 prohibits the U.S. government from using "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment" on someone in custody.

Trump drew criticism in January for contending that waterboarding is not a form of torture and contended that he believes it works.

"Torture is real torture," Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity. "Waterboarding is — I’m sure it’s not pleasant, but waterboarding was just short of torture, when all of a sudden they made it torture."

Trump did, however, say he is "with" Defense Secretary James Mattis, who Trump said doesn't intend to use waterboarding.

Graham also praised Trump on Monday for his selection of Gorsuch to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

[graphiq id="iH8v1Huv3wh" title="Neil Gorsuch" width="500" height="810" url="https://w.graphiq.com/w/iH8v1Huv3wh" ]

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