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Sen. Lindsey Graham predicts enough GOP votes to call both Bidens and the whistleblower in Senate trial

'If people want witnesses, we're going to get a lot of witnesses'

Mario Tama/Getty Images

If the United States Senate decides to call further witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, they're going to get a lot of them, says a GOP senator who also predicts there will be enough Republican votes to call former Vice President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and the CIA whistleblower to testify.

"If people want witnesses, we're going to get a lot of witnesses. This idea of calling one and one makes zero sense to me," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned Tuesday in reference to the possibility of a witness trade-off between Democrats and Republicans.

"I'll make a prediction," Graham said. "There will be 51 Republican votes to call Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, the whistleblower and the DNC staffer at a very minimum."

"The DNC staffer" was an apparent reference to Alexandra Chalupa, the former DNC contractor at the center of questions about whether or not the committee colluded with Ukrainian officials in 2016.

Graham made the remarks while briefing reporters in the basement of the U.S. Capitol before the trial resumed Tuesday, against a backdrop of new questions about whether or not the chamber would call former national security adviser John Bolton to testify following reports of allegations contained in a manuscript of his forthcoming book.

As to the allegations reportedly contained in Bolton's manuscript, Graham said that he's read the New York Times' story, saying he had "no idea what they're talking about." However, he supported what he called a "reasonable solution" proposed by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) to allow senators to read the manuscript's contents in a classified setting.

But Graham also said that he was "comfortable with the idea I have enough," and would make his ultimate decision later in the trial.

"The House chose not to pursue witnesses that were available to them," Graham also pointed out, saying that he didn't "want to start a precedent of just doing half-ass in the House and expecting the Senate to fix it."

And if a majority of the chamber decides to bring in Bolton or others as witnesses, they're also going to end up looking into the questions about Ukrainian corruption at the center of the impeachment debate and that Democrats have repeatedly tried to dismiss as meritless.

"If we're going to open this up to additional inquiry, we're going to go down the road" of whether it was "legitimate for the president to believe there was corruption and conflicts of interest on the Bidens' part in the Ukraine," Graham said. "We'll explore that and whether or not there's any credibility to the idea that the DNC may have been working with the Ukraine."

Graham also told reporters "it would have been wrong for President Trump not to raise this issue" of alleged Biden-Ukraine corruption, and that "you have to be willfully blind and say that Democratic misconduct doesn't matter to you not to believe that the president had a good reason to ask the Ukraine to look into the Biden affair."

One last thing…
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