Last week, Banks urged the South Carolina Republican to obtain the phone records of Schiff, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son and the attorney for the whistleblower who brought the Ukraine scandal to light. Schiff, in the House Intel’s report on Ukraine, published the phone records of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) that show his communications with the White House. But Graham shot the idea down, saying “we’re not going to do that,” pointing out that “you got two different bodies here.”
House Republicans, who are itching to go on offense after enduring an impeachment inquiry tightly controlled by Democrats, have also been eager for the Senate GOP to haul in Schiff, the Bidens and the whistleblower as witnesses.
But the Senate needs 51 votes for any procedural maneuvers, including hauling in controversial witnesses, and a number of Republicans have already poured cold water on that idea.
Still, Republicans in the lower chamber are hoping they can change the minds of their Senate colleagues. Banks even tried to appeal to Graham by pointing out that he has been at the forefront of “investigating the investigators” of the Russia probe, and asked him to apply that same mentality to the Senate’s impeachment strategy. On Wednesday, Graham chaired a hearing on the Justice Department inspector general’s long-awaited report into the origins of the Russia probe.
“With all respect Mr. Chairman,” Banks wrote, “I urge you to apply this same philosophy to the upcoming impeachment trial.”