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A Republican campaign group has released an advert urging GOP senators to take Donald Trump‘s impeachment trial seriously.
The impending Senate trial must include testimony from witnesses, the Republicans for the Rule of Law (RRL) group says.
Its new advert is aimed squarely at Lindsey Graham, a Trump booster who has insisted he will resist any attempts to call witnesses.
The 30-second clip contrasts his trenchant stance with his past statements during the impeachment of Bill Clinton.
“In every trial that there has ever been in the Senate regarding impeachment, witnesses were called,” the South Carolina politician said at the time, when he was serving in the House of Representatives.
“When you have a witness telling you about what they were doing and why, it’s the difference between getting the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
RRL’s legal advisory board includes names such as Charles Fried, a former US solicitor general under Ronald Reagan, and Wendell Willkie II, the grandson of the 1940 Republican candidate for president.
The group’s advert was released as members of Congress voted to approve two articles of impeachment against Mr Trump, making him just the third US president to be impeached in the House of Representatives.
On Wednesday representatives charged the president with abusing his position and obstructing congress over his dealings with Ukraine. Mr Trump faces a Senate trial in the new year, which he is unlikely to lose because his party holds a majority there.
In addition, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell has said he will “take my cues from the president’s lawyers” during the process.
Mr Trump is alleged to have withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine while pressuring its newly elected president to investigate his domestic political rival, Joe Biden. He has insisted he did nothing wrong.