Walking out of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday night after the first day of opening arguments in the impeachment trial of President Trump, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., congratulated Adam Schiff, the lead manager for House Democrats, on his presentation of the case.
“Good job,” Graham told Schiff. “You’re very well-spoken.”
It was unusual praise coming from Graham, one of Trump’s staunchest defenders in Congress. The South Carolina Republican has said he has already made up his mind that the president should be acquitted.
“I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here,” he said in December.
And Graham wasn’t so complimentary to Schiff on Tuesday.
“Quite frankly, having Adam Schiff lecture the Senate about fairness and due process is like listening to an arsonist talk about fire prevention,” Graham tweeted.
On Wednesday, Schiff and House Democrats delivered an eight-hour presentation that tested the patience and stamina of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. More than a dozen GOP senators left the Senate chamber during Schiff’s two-and-a-half-hour opening statement, defying rules that require all senators to be at their desks for the entirety of the trial.
Graham left the Senate chamber for over 20 minutes during the hearing Wednesday night. Asked by a Yahoo News reporter where he went, Graham replied: “To the bathroom.”
“I’ll tell you what,” he added, “if there’s a bladder contest I’m entering Schiff.”
Schiff refused to take questions from reporters upon leaving the Hill, but when asked if he was tired, he laughed and said: “Yes, I am.”
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