Guy Benson: New hour on this new week of the Guy Benson show. I'm Guy Benson in D.C.. Coming to you live, a very busy day. We spent most of that first hour talking about Jim Comey. Under the microscope, and so it's like flop sweat under the bright lights of Fox News Sunday and Chris Wallace, really, really good interview. And if you missed that hour, go back and subscribe to our podcast, which is free at Guy Benson show dot com. Joining me now on the line is U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn, a Republican of Tennessee. She serves on the Judiciary Committee in the upper chamber, among other committees as well. Senator, welcome back to the show. Merry Christmas.
Sen. Blackburn: Well, it's good to be with you. And a very merry Christmas to you.
Guy Benson: Thank you very much, Senator. I want to play a soundbite from someone that many Republicans might consider to be the Grinch. Chuck Schumer, earlier today, just actually about a few minutes before our show came on the air, gave a press conference talking about the upcoming impeachment trial for President Trump in the U.S. Senate. Here is what he said about the choice that Senate Republicans such as yourself will have to make cut 49.
Video Clip: So in the coming weeks, senators, particularly Republican senators, will have a choice. Do they want a fair, honest trial that examines all the facts or they do. They want a trial that doesn't let the facts come out. Trials have witnesses. That's what trials are all about. And documents. It's not just the prosecutors in this case. The House attorneys make their side. The president's lawyers make their side. We know that already. We've heard that we need to know the facts from those who are in a position to know and from documents that accurately reflect them.
Guy Benson: Your response to that, Senator?
Sen. Blackburn: Well, Chuck Schumer wants to change the rules now. There was all of this and dust kicked up because the House didn't want to abide by the rules that were there for the Clinton impeachment. So they made up new rules and they did a new process. So they got an incomplete record. And generally they have what I would call a hot mess. They're trying now to get the votes together so they can pass this thing and send it to us. Well, just as the House impeachment was a Mueller do over. This is going to be a Schumer do over because he feels like Mueller didn't get it right. The House didn't get it right. He thinks a third time is a charm and now he's the one that can get this right. But he doesn't want us to take up what the house sends us. What does he want to do? He wants to change it. And he wants to call in other people. And he wants to make a a different process and create rules here in the in the Senate that are not necessarily going to be taking up what the House talked about. So I just say he can talk all he wants to. He's not going to be pleased with anything. The only thing that pleases them is defeating Donald Trump and Chuck Schumer being the Senate majority leader. And they're being able to push forward their socialist agenda and take away our freedoms now. That is what makes him happy.
Guy Benson: Schumer was asked at the same press conference by a reporter about what appears to be some hypocrisy because back in the late 90s. Right. There's a lot of callbacks now to the 90s, and we're sort of throwing it back to 98, 99. The parties have switched sides. Lindsey Graham has a bunch of soundbites from him that are being used against him now, which are admittedly sort of entertaining. Here's one going the other direction with the Democrats. Listen to Cut 50 and then Schumer's effort to sort of spin that a way.
Video Clip: Back in 1999. You did not support hearing from new witnesses in the Senate trial. Why do you feel differently this time, though? Okay. Here is what I said at the time. These are exactly my words. My view is we've heard from most of these witnesses over and over again. We've heard the same story. The witnesses in 99 had already been given had already given grand jury testimony. We knew what they were to say. The four witnesses we've called who have not been heard from. That is the that's the difference. And it's a difference that is totally overwhelming.
Guy Benson: Well, the question was that he didn't support hearing from new witnesses in the Senate trial of Bill Clinton 1999. Now, he does want new witnesses, not just the witnesses that we've heard from, but other people who didn't testify. In one example, John Bolton, who the House Democrats didn't even bother to subpoena, Senator Schumer, now wants him brought into the Senate for this trial. I wonder what you make of that and what you think Leader McConnell is going to do with this letter and these demands that we've heard from Senator Schumer.
Sen. Blackburn: Well, what we know is this the Democrats are going to continue to make these demands. They are going to cry, oh my goodness, we have to change the rules. We have to hear from more people. We have to complete this record. But Donald Trump didn't do anything wrong. And there is no evidence of an impeachable crime. So why do we want to do this? And here's the other thing, guy. You go listen to these Democrats in the House and they know this is going to go nowhere. And it's going to fall on deaf ears. So what are they saying now? Well, if we don't get the votes for this, if we end up censuring him, then we'll start looking for something else to impeach him. So it all goes back to the fact that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton and he was not supposed to do that. So they started on election night saying, well, we'll just impeach the guy. And they thought the Mueller report was going to do it. That did not do it. So they had to come up with something else. They thought, well, maybe bribery, maybe extortion, maybe this, maybe that. Well, there was nothing there. So they've had to settle, in their opinion, for obstruction of Congress. But if they do that, are they going to then say, well, we could have impeached Obama for Fast and Furious and for going to the courts on those documents, and then they all want to say abuse of power. But the president is with in his power to make certain that if we send somebody money, they are not going to undermine us. And I've been on the ground in the Ukraine because we had Tennessee troops over there. What did I hear from these guys? Marsha, if you all are going to send money. Be sure you know who you're dealing with. Be sure it's going to generals that are working with us and not those working against us.
Guy Benson: Yeah, I and I think you and I come at this from a slightly different perspective. I think Trump did not act perfectly. But I agree that there are not impeachable crimes that have been committed. What does entertain me a little bit and not this is a funny matter overall, but you just had the House Democrats saying we are not going to play by the Bill Clinton impeachment rules. We are going to consolidate power in the House. We control the process. And Republicans were saying this is an unfair process. Now, it seems very likely that the whole the whole football is going to be lateral over to the Senate. And it's now the minority party. The Democrats saying we demand a fair process. The Republicans who are in the majority are engaged in a cover up if they don't do exactly what we say. It just kind of feels like the road, the roles have just sort of changed sides here a little bit. And all of the clamoring for fairness was totally ignored by Nancy Pelosi. But Chuck Schumer is going to take up, you know, take up that issue as its champion.
Guy Benson: Well, that is what you're exactly right. And what we have to realize is that for them, this is a political game. And I find that very sad for our nation. But these guys constructed a political game. This is a political impeachment. The only bipartisanship in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday for that vote will be bipartisan opposition to impeaching the president of the United States. That's where the bipartisanship is going to come.
Guy Benson: Let me ask you about tactics and strategy moving forward from the Senate Republicans, because there seem to be three different camps emerging. One camp Lindsey Graham's out there saying, why don't we just move to dismiss the charges immediately? Media we don't have to go through a trial at all. We heard all the hearings. Everything that we are going to know we already know is not enough in our opinion. Let's let's just dismiss basically day one. Then there is folks, I had your colleague, Ted Cruz from Texas on the show last week. He said, well, hang on. President Trump's talking about Joe, you know, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Adam Schiff, a bunch of other witnesses that he would like to see called potentially that could stretch over weeks of a trial. Maybe we should consider doing that. And then Leader McConnell saying, look, maybe we'll do a shorter trial a week or two, no new witnesses and get it done relatively quickly. Do you have an opinion? Senator Blackburn, where you come down, which of those options, if I'm describing them accurately, which one that you tend to gravitate towards is the best option?
Sen. Blackburn: I would like for us to have the opportunity to put a whistleblower, whomever whistleblower is, whether it's an individual or a team, to hear from him. I think we should hear from Adam Schiff staff, bring them in to talk about how they worked with a whistleblower. We should hear from them. I think that it would be good for us to be able to hear from Hunter Biden's. What was what was it that he was doing? How did he get that contract for fifty thousand dollars a month? What did the Obama White House say to Joe Biden and what were their reservations and their concerns regarding that? All of those are things that we would like to get answers to.
Guy Benson: Senator Marsha Blackburn, my guest Republican of Tennessee. You know, you mentioned earlier as a few minutes ago that the Democrats were really going after the Russia issue for the first half of the Trump presidency so far. And it was an all consuming obsession among Democrats and certainly among the media. And then that didn't really end right there. The big conclusion, the denouement of that didn't go the way that they expected with Robert Mueller finding no collusion. And that was hyped and hyped and hyped. And I think that's part of the reason that so many Americans aren't getting on board with this impeachment push because there's exhaustion with the anti Trump, you know, threat to the republic, talking points that have started the second the nanosecond he was elected. I think that point is well taken on that on that issue on Russia and on the Trump Russia investigation. We saw extraordinary testimony in your committee last week with Inspector General Horowitz. I watched some of your questioning as you sat there and listened to Mr. Horowitz. I am fascinated to hear what your big takeaways were and what you think is important about both his report and his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on which you sit.
Sen. Blackburn: Yes. I think that as I listened to him and as he went back through that report, we realized there were sins of omission. They are sins of commission. There are people who were intentional. They were purposeful, they were malicious. And they fulfilled their goal of creating a document. It was a false document, but they created a document that could be taken to the FISA court. And we know that they set out to do that and they did it. It is astounding that they use the power of the FISA court and they used their positions within that power to spy on American citizens. And then we found out Adam Schiff has been collecting telephone records of even Devon Nunez and John Solomon, a reporter, and he's collecting these phone records and surveilling people like Rudy Giuliani and seeing who their talking to. This is outrageous. And to look at what transpired by the FBI, we need to summarily investigate this. And we Judiciary Committee will continue to do this. We continue to wait for General Durham's report. That should make its way to us this spring at some point in the early spring. But, Guy, I got to tell you, they when you hear James Comey, I go on and try to blab his way through an interview and blame the process. And I didn't know this and I didn't know that. It was amazing. And the thing is, if he truly believes that. And if he believes it was all process to blame and then the inspector general needs to turn around and interview and then DOJ needs to fire every one of those staff level attorneys. After we have found out who tells him to do this? Who told you to use doctored information? Who told you to change documents? To change e-mails? And that when you look at the wood procedures that should have been caught as it moved up the food chain and it was not detected.
Guy Benson: Senator, last question, totally unrelated. There are some reports, some rumors. As you know, each state has two statues or busts in the capital of people who hail prominent people whose hail from that state. There's talk about replacing one of the Tennesseans that's currently there and putting in a statue of Dolly Parton, who is widely beloved by the American people. I wonder what you think of that idea.
Sen. Blackburn: I have not heard that. That is something that is new to me. I don't know where that is coming from. I will say this. I've listened to some of her podcast on Dolly Parton's America, and they are absolutely wonderful. And you are correct. She is a dearly loved by the American people and has been incredibly successful as she has sought to help people better their lives, to love them all. And, you know, I say some of the best political advice I ever got in my life came from someone who mentor Dolly, and that was Minnie Pearl. And Minnie told me one day she said, honey, just open your doors. Open your arms. Love people and they will love you back.
Guy Benson: Senator, we are up on a hard break, but that is a great note to end on Dolly Parton. A treasure of both Tennessee and America. Merry Christmas to you, Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. Bob, thank you. We'll be right back.