I don’t know what’s with the Senate Republicans. They have the same investigative powers as House Democrats, and they mostly sit on their asses.
But Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, no doubt after a chat or two with President Trump, is going to get the ball rolling. The press, of course, is completely uninterested in whether the Obama administration — as opposed to the Russians — colluded with the Clinton campaign to swing the election.
But Graham seems to care.
According to Politico:
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said Monday that he has plans for an aggressive oversight probe and is even hoping to convince the attorney general to appoint a second special counsel. The South Carolina Republican announced Monday he will investigate whether the Justice Department and FBI influenced the 2016 election to stop Trump, arguing it has not been appropriately probed in comparison to the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russian officials.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said he’s ready to back him up. Graham specifically cited the decisions made to surveil the Trump campaign in 2016 and its handling of the uncorroborated Steele Dossier. “I’m going to get answers to this. If no one else cares, it seems that Republicans do. Because if the shoe were on the other foot, it would be front page news all over the world. The double standard here has been striking and quite frankly disappointing,” Graham said.
Graham’s list of grievances ran long during a 30-minute new conference on Monday morning: He complained about anti-Trump bias in federal law enforcement agencies, lack of media interest in the FBI and DOJ’s handling of the election, why Trump wasn’t informed former campaign aide Carter Page was being watched and what role former FBI Director James Comey played in the saga.
And while Graham said his committee hopes to hear from Comey and other officials about the department’s handling of the election, Graham is hoping Attorney General William Barr chooses “somebody like a Mr. Mueller to look at that.” He said that would take the politics out of the equation, given that the Senate GOP investigation is unlikely to get the same sort of public support that a nonpartisan probe would receive from the public.
The investigation would look into “whether those who believed that the FBI and the Department of Justice were playing politics, that they wanted Clinton to win and Trump to lose, that somebody can satisfy them,” Graham said. “By any reasonable standard, Mr. Mueller thoroughly investigated the Trump campaign. You cannot say that about the other side of the story.” Graham implored Barr to “understand for the country’s sake: Appoint somebody outside the current system to look into these allegations, somebody we all trust and let them do what Mr. Mueller did.”