Ted Cruz says he’ll be impartial in Senate trial; Graham says his mind already made up

Sen. Ted Cruz said he intends to abide by his impeachment oath to be an impartial juror during President Trump’s expected Senate trial – even as Sen. Lindsey Graham said he’s already made up his mind on acquitting the president.

“I fully intend to follow my oath,” the Texas Republican told ABC’s “This Week.” on Sunday. “But the oath of a Senate juror – it has some similarities to a criminal trial, but it has some differences as well.”

Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he’s already seen enough of the Democrats’ case against Trump and is unmoved.

“I think what’s best for the country is to get this thing over with,” Graham told CBS’ “Face the Nation” in an interview that aired Sunday. “I [have] clearly made up my mind, I’m not trying to hide the fact that I have disdain for the accusations in the process, so I don’t need any witnesses.”

“I am ready to vote on the underlying articles, I don’t really need to hear a lot of witnesses,” he continued.

The House Judiciary Committee voted last Friday to approve two impeachment articles against Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The 23-17 vote along strict partisan lines moves impeachment to a full-House vote that is expected to happen on Wednesday.

Approval would set the stage for the GOP-controlled Senate to conduct a trial in early January over whether Trump should be removed from office.

Cruz said he’s not impressed with the House’s evidence against Trump.

“I think this is the beginning of the end for this show trial,“ Cruz said.

He criticized Reps Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff, the chairs of the Judiciary and Intelligence committees, for carrying out a partisan investigation and not investigating former Vice President Joe Biden’s son’s work for a Ukrainian energy company while his father was vice president.

“The House Democrats don’t want to find out what happened,” Cruz said.

“On its face, there’s a lot of smoke there,” Cruz said of Hunter Biden’s $50,000 a month job at Burisma Holdings, adding that there was “real prima facie evidence of corruption.”

Cruz said Trump was “well within his authority” to hold up millions in military aid to Ukraine while pressing for an investigation into the Bidens.

But Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said he was “disappointed” in the sentiments expressed by Republicans over holding an impartial trial in the Senate.

“It’s why I’m so disappointed in my colleagues’ see-no-evil, hear-no-evil attitude,” Brown said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “That they don’t want to look at anything that might disagree with their world view of Republicanism and this president.”

He raised concerns about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying he would work in concert with the Trump White House to determine how the trial would proceed.

“I won’t speak for others, although I share the outrage about McConnell — as the leader of the Republican Party and the majority leader in the Senate — saying we’re going to get this over with and we know he’s not going to be convicted,” Brown said.

McConnell said it’s highly unlikely that the Senate, which holds 53 seats in the 100-member chamber.

A vote to convict or acquit would require 67 votes.