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Lindsey Graham Gifted Donald Trump Jr. the Most Obvious Legal Advice Ever


Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is everyone’s favorite villain right now. To be fair, he’s made it really easy ever since he threw that hissy-fit during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing. Now that Graham has weighed in on Donald Trump, Jr. and the corresponding Congressional subpoena, #LindseyGrahamResign is trending.

This time, though, the criticism directed at Senator Babyface is unfair. Easy as it is to hate Graham in all his smarmy smugness, what he said was unequivocally correct. A little basic maybe, but correct just the same.

While finishing its Russia investigation, the Senate Intelligence Committee had been expecting to interview Don Jr. I say “expecting,” because the First Son voluntarily scheduled two interviews with the committee, then promptly backed out. Instead of facing guaranteed to be soft questions about the infamous Trump Tower meeting, Junior was a no-show, to a chorus of criticism. Not exactly a master of strategy, that one.

The committee was left with no real choice but to issue a subpoena for Don Jr.’s testimony; apparently, though, Junior is confused about his role in this cooperation-and-exoneration two-step. Enter Lindsey Graham, Master of the Obvious, to give some sage advice:

“You just show up and plead the Fifth and it’s over with.”

Graham added that Trump Jr.’s lawyer would “have to be an idiot” to allow him to testify again. Wait, lawyers shouldn’t advise clients with a history of lying to incriminate themselves when treason is on the line? Tell me more, Sen. Graham..

Last week, I wrote that Don’s best move would be to do exactly what Graham suggested. Show up and assert his privilege. In fact, the move was so obvious an answer that I was legit surprised that Don Jr. didn’t figure it out for himself.

The subpoena we’re talking about came from the Republican-controlled Senate, and promised to be a beacon of painless questions to come. As I put it earlier, “Don Jr.’s role was to show up, answer some softball questions, and subsequently parade around cable news declaring himself to be the picture of transparency.” That move would allow the Senate to save face while purporting to scrutinize the facts before clearing Trump Jr. altogether.

Honestly, the whole charade was so obvious that it was hard to believe Don Jr. hadn’t thought of it himself. Note to self: lower expectations. As for Graham? He may get high marks for legal advice, but he’s destined for low ones on consistency.

[Image via Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images]


This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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Elura is a columnist and trial analyst for Law & Crime. Elura is also a former civil prosecutor for NYC's Administration for Children's Services, the CEO of Lawyer Up, and the author of How To Talk To Your Lawyer and the Legalese-to-English series. Follow Elura on Twitter @elurananos