Former GOP Rep Says Lindsey Graham Should Resign After Dismissing Explosive Sondland Ukraine Testimony

A former Republican congressman has condemned South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham for his apparent refusal to consider any evidence that might undermine President Donald Trump's impeachment defense.

David Jolly, who served as a representative for Florida until 2017, suggested that Graham—who will effectively be a juror in Trump's Senate trial if the House votes to impeach the president—should resign if he will not do his job.

House impeachment investigators have been releasing transcripts of closed-door testimonies from officials involved in the Ukraine scandal, in which Trump is accused of offering a quid pro quo of releasing frozen military aid in exchange for an investigation into potential 2020 rival Joe Biden.

On Tuesday, the Democrats released testimony from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, a Trump ally who was directly involved in the White House's shadow Ukraine policy team.

The damning transcript confirmed that Trump was seeking a quid pro quo with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zeleskiy to influence the 2020 race by smearing Biden and his son Hunter.

But Graham said he would not read any of the transcripts from witnesses and dismissed Sondland's testimony as a "bunch of BS." The senator also said he has "written the whole process off."

Last month, Graham said that clear evidence of a quid pro quo would be "very disturbing," though appears to have shifted his stance now that evidence has been presented.

Jolly told MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews Tuesday that "Lindsey Graham should resign if he's not going to do his job."

"He's the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and he said he's not going to take the time to look at the facts of an allegation against the president of the United States that he worked with a foreign nation to corrupt the domestic elections in 2020."

Jolly suggested Graham "needs to quit the United States Senate and he should hand in his bar license to the state of South Carolina." He added, "We will never understand why Lindsey Graham has abandoned the convictions of old but instead chosen to embrace Donald Trump."

Trump and his supporters have consistently sought to dismiss the emerging evidence and malign witnesses as partisan political operatives.

The president has attacked those giving evidence as "Never Trumpers" and tried to characterize the probe as a "witch hunt," as he did during special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Key Trump allies in the House and Senate have thus far fallen in line, despite suggestions that some senators might vote to convict Trump if he is put on trial in the Senate.

Jolly told Matthews that the GOP strategy consists of "lying to the American people."

"A lie is much easier to sell to the American people than the truth is," he suggested. "A lie can be sexy. Look what they did around the Mueller report: 'No obstruction, no collusion.' When we actually know there was obstruction."

Jolly also praised the Democrats for their approach to proceedings so far, adding that investigators "have the facts on their side." He explained, "Democrats have to be able to sell the American people on the damning truth that the president conducted or committed impeachable behavior."

Lindsey Graham, Donald Trump, Ukraine, David Jolly
In this file photo, Sen. Lindsey Graham is pictured speaking at the U.S. Capitol on October 24, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Mark Wilson/Getty Images/Getty