Admittedly, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has been a bit of an enigma since POTUS Donald Trump was elected president.
Graham faced off against Trump in the GOP primaries in 2016 but never drew the kind of support that would land him in contention. And for that period of time, he seemed very solidly in the camp of his long-time friend the late Sen. John McCain (RINO-Ariz.), who was so #NeverTrump he made sure the FBI had a copy of the “Steele Dossier” everyone knew was political oppo research by the Clinton campaign and, thus, garbage.
But then Graham did a 180 and, publicly at least, seemed to embrace the president, becoming a staunch ally and stating that he wanted to help him succeed, even though McCain carried his hatred for Trump to his grave.
After Republicans retained control of the Senate and Graham was poised to take over the Judiciary Committee, he promised repeatedly to ‘get to the bottom’ of the Obama-era Spygate scandal by holding a series of hearings with figures involved in the scandal.
But after taking over the panel in January, Graham hasn’t scheduled a single Spygate-related hearing. And on Saturday night he told Fox News‘ Judge Janine Pirro that as far as he’s concerned, there isn’t anything left to investigate because special counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusion that no “collusion” took place between POTUS Trump’s 2016 campaign and Mother Russia is enough for him.
“The Mueller Report is the final word on Trump and all things Russia, not [House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold] Nadler… Mueller is the final word for me,” Graham said.
“Everything the House is doing is politically motivated. And I think most Americans are ready to move on. To my Democratic colleagues in the House if you bring up impeachment after Mueller issued his report, based on the Mueller Report, then it’s going to blow up in your face. You’re hurting the country. You’re unfair to the president and he’s going to get reelected,” he added.
According to investigative reporter ace Paul Sperry, this new attitude from Graham is infuriating. They have accused him of “showboating” since the 2018 elections.
BREAKING: House Republicans r upset w what they call Sen Graham’s showboating since taking over Senate Judiciary from Grassley,who they say was “serious” bout getting to bottom of #SpyGate. But Graham’s just putting on “charade” on Fox for S.C. voters& “not doing a f*cking thing”
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) June 15, 2019
“BREAKING: House Republicans r upset w what they call Sen Graham’s showboating since taking over Senate Judiciary from Grassley, who they say was ‘serious’ bout getting to bottom of #SpyGate. But Graham’s just putting on “charade” on Fox for S.C. voters& ‘not doing a f*cking thing,’” he tweeted.
Fair enough. Or is it?
Let’s recount what’s happened and what’s going on.
The House, you recall, held hearing after hearing on Spygate when Republicans were in charge (2016-2018). We learned a lot about the scandal, but nothing was done in terms of holding people accountable, right?
That’s not true, either. Scores of officials have been fired from the Justice Department and the FBI, including some of the very top officials who had hands-on when it came to carrying out Spygate. Comey, McCabe, Strzok, and Baker come to mind.
As for holding people to account, Congress is not a law enforcement body; oversight is not prosecution. Granted, it’s imminently useful for Congress to hold legitimate oversight hearings because the public can learn a lot about various incidents and scandals (though not so much when Democrats are in charge).
Remember the Benghazi hearings? Then-GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and his panel found a lot of evidence suggesting malfeasance and even acts of malice and, some believe, treason — but no one was held accountable.
That’s because Obama’s DoJ was never going to hold anyone accountable.
Neither was the first version of POTUS Trump’s DoJ. It was too populated by many of the same DC swamp creatures, and AG Jeff Sessions had actually recused himself from all things Russia.
But now, William Barr is attorney general and he’s got a seasoned U.S. attorney, John Durham, with a proven history and track record of prosecuting official corruption on the case. Many expect criminal referrals to come from DoJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz any day now — and that Barr (and Durham) will act on those recommendations. Actually act on them.
With all this in mind, then, the questions become: Why should Graham hold more hearings? What would be the point? What more do we need to know that we don’t already know that is sufficient to convince thinking, reasonable Americans that Obama tried to pull off a coup attempt and that he had a lot of deep state help in his effort?
Sure, we might learn additional details about the espionage involved, the cloak-and-dagger stuff that makes for good intrigue. But even those new details wouldn’t amount to anything other than substantiating what we already know happened.
So we’re not ready just yet to toss Graham overboard. It’s quite possible he’s just lying low and letting the investigatory and prosecutorial processes play out because he knows there isn’t much he can add to the equation here that would ultimately be useful. And new hearings might even distract from the real case.
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