- Sen. Lindsey Graham warned Democrats could suffer in future elections if they reach too far in investigations of President Trump.
- Graham likened it to how Republicans’ investigations of Bill Clinton backfired in the late 1990s.
- “Learn from our mistakes,” said Graham, who was an impeachment manager during the Clinton case.
WASHINGTON – Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who during the Bill Clinton administration served as an impeachment manager, said Democrats should “learn from our mistakes” and not go after President Donald Trump too far, or they could suffer at the ballot box like Republicans did.
During a press conference on Monday, Graham addressed Republicans’ role in the Clinton impeachment and how it resembles the probes and investigations House Democrats are spearheading today into Trump.
“So let’s go back to the 90s. It started out about financial misdeeds and basically enriching one’s self,” he said. “It wound up being about an improper relationship. Sexual harassment lawsuits are always about sex. The question was did the president in a sexual harassment lawsuit basically bend the rules of the court to help himself. He was suspended for five years for inappropriate conduct as a lawyer. He was chastised for lying under oath.”
Graham added that part of why he believes the public responded negatively to how Republicans went after Clinton was that like Trump, he was a unique individual not in the mold of other US presidents.
“Having said that, looking back, the public sort of knew what they were getting with Bill Clinton,” he said. “I think the public sort of knows what they’re getting with Donald Trump.”
Graham also warned Democrats that digging too far into Trump could hurt their reputations, especially after the conclusion of the special counsel investigation headed by former FBI Director Robert Mueller. As he characterized it, Democrats could start to give off the appearance they are only trying to take down Trump at all costs.
“And here’s my advice to the Democratic Party: Pursue what you think is important to the public, but if you keep going after Mueller spoke, people are going to think that you’re just out to get him,” Graham added. “That there is no right answer other than Donald Trump must be removed from office. You’ll probably suffer the same fate that we did as having gone too far.”
After the Clinton impeachment, George W. Bush narrowly defeated then-Vice President Al Gore. But Republicans lost a handful of seats in Congress. In the House, their majority slimmed to just a three-seat advantage. Currently, Democrats have a 35-seat majority in the House, and Republicans control the Senate by six seats.