Graham: GOP to Investigate Whistleblower After Impeachment Trial

February 3, 2020 Updated: February 3, 2020
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The Senate plans to investigate allegations surrounding the whistleblower who triggered the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, as well as Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine, after the impeachment trial concludes, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in an interview.

“I want to understand how all this … started,” he told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”

Graham said the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), has told colleagues that he wants to question the whistleblower.

This comes as Trump’s impeachment trial prepares to wrap up this week. Last week, senators voted against calling witnesses in the impeachment trial, expediting the process.

The impeachment inquiry started last year after an anonymous whistleblower complaint to the Intelligence Community Inspector General’s office about a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump asked Zelensky to “look into” the activities of Hunter Biden and his father, 2020 Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. The whistleblower’s identity hasn’t been released.

Some Republicans have accused House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) of having contact with the anonymous person before the complaint was even filed. They have claimed the whistleblower met with Schiff’s staff. Meanwhile, there have been reports that the whistleblower was a former associate or employee of Biden.

“If the whistleblower is a former employee of—associate of Joe Biden, I think that would be important,” Graham said on the Sunday talk show. “If the whistleblower was working with people on Schiff’s staff that wanted to take Trump down a year and a half ago, I think that would be important. If the Schiff staff people helped write the complaint, that would be important. We’re going to get to the bottom of all of this to make sure this never happens again.”

During the impeachment inquiry and trial, Schiff repeatedly said he has no idea who the whistleblower is. He also stressed that the person’s identity should be protected, due to concerns about potential reprisals.

“I don’t know who the whistleblower is. I haven’t met them,” Schiff told the Senate last week, adding that neither he or his staff coached the person.

“I am very protective of my staff as I know you are,” Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said. “The whistleblower did exactly what they should.”

In addition to the probe of the whistleblower, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee plans to investigate Joe Biden’s dealings with Ukraine, Graham said. Biden’s son was a board member at the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings while he was in office. Both Joe and Hunter Biden have denied allegations of corruption.

“I’m gonna bring in State Department officials and ask them, ‘Why didn’t you do something about the obvious conflict of interest Joe Biden had?’” Graham told Fox’s Maria Bartiromo. “Joe Biden’s effort to combat corruption in the Ukraine became a joke.”

Graham said that they “can prove beyond any doubt that Joe Biden’s effort in Ukraine to root out corruption was undercut because he let his son sit on the board of the most corrupt company in the Ukraine, and we’re not gonna give him a pass on that.”

The Biden campaign hasn’t responded to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

On Feb. 3, the former vice president’s wife, Jill Biden, suggested that neither she or Joe Biden are now friends with Graham.

“I don’t know what happened to Lindsey. And we used to be great friends,” she told CNN. “You know, it’s hard when you, I don’t know, consider somebody a friend and then they’ve said so many things, so many negative things. And it’s—that’s been a little hurtful.”

In November 2019, Joe Biden told CNN that Graham “is about to go down in a way that I think he’s going to regret his whole life,” after Graham said that Biden’s dealings in Ukraine should be investigated.