In the recently concluded midterm elections, Democrats took control of the U.S. House — but Republicans remained the majority in the Senate, where South Carolina Lindsey Graham is making his mark as the new chairman of the Judiciary Committee. While other new committee chairpersons have indicated plans to look into acutely pressing issues like the connections of President Donald Trump’s team to Russia that have persisted while he’s been in office, Graham will be looking into issues like… wait for it… Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Yes, we’re back at Hillary’s emails again. Some partisan lines just won’t die.
Judiciary Committee member Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) laughed out loud at Graham’s plans, exclaiming:
‘This is going to be like the History Channel it turns out. Instead of taking a look at the current issues, Lindsey Graham wants to go back and answer important questions about the Bermuda Triangle and Hillary Clinton!’
Graham’s interest in — more specifically — investigating the FBI’s handling of the scandal over Hillary Clinton’s private email server she maintained while Secretary of State figures into a broader Republican pattern of investigating the investigators. At this point, you might as well assume suspicion of the rule of law is one of the key points of the Republican Party’s platform. Its de facto leader, Donald Trump, has routinely gone so far as to seek criminal investigations into political opponents like Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey because… reasons.
That doesn’t even cover the ongoing Republican dismissal of the Justice Department over their handling of the Russia scandal. To that end, Graham has also indicated he intends to investigate the Justice Department’s surveillance of former Trump adviser Carter Page. Republicans have claimed that the surveillance was based on hiding the partisan nature of opposition research into Donald Trump collected in the infamous Steele dossier — although the Russia investigation flatly did not start just because of that document.
Graham still wants to look into the subject anyway, though, taking after his Republican colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee who, when they were the majority, rushed to shutter their Russia investigation and ended up focusing on scrutiny of the Justice Department’s handling of the initial Russia scandal.
Graham has already distinguished himself through similarly partisan means. While a lower level member of the Judiciary Committee last year, he ranted and raved about the supposed mistreatment Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was facing because of credible sexual assault allegations brought against him.
Graham has routinely allied himself with the president outside of that context, although he has also been among those lately pushing for an end to the ongoing partial federal government shutdown without the over $5 billion for a wall that Trump wants.
That shutdown has temporarily claimed the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of government workers, as Trump refuses to approve any further spending without the billions he wants. Numerous key government services have either slowed down, completely halted, or begun being performed by staffers expected to show up with no promise of pay. That issue continues to overshadow most others.
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