Republicans have wasted no time in getting back to their political corners following Special Counsel Robert Mueller dropping his final report. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asserted during a Monday press conference that he wants renewed investigation of… wait for it… Hillary Clinton! Apparently the years of investigation Congressional Republicans have already put her through aren’t enough, even though they want us to believe that the scrutiny Donald Trump has faced over his Russia ties is an unprecedented victimization.
Besides specifically calling out the Clinton campaign and the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation for further inquiry at another point, Graham explained to reporters at a Monday press conference:
‘What I want to see if he’ll do is appoint a special counsel. I fully realize that the oversight role of the committee is legitimate, but we’re Republicans, and they’re Democrats. I’d like to find somebody like a Mr. Mueller that could look into what happened with the FISA warrant, what happened with the counterintelligence investigation. Am I right to be concerned? Seems pretty bad on its face… By any reasonable standard, Mr. Mueller thoroughly investigated the Trump campaign. You can not say that about the other side of the story.’
Graham referenced the surveillance conducted on one-time Trump adviser Carter Page as worthy of further scrutiny as Republicans long have, alleging that the Justice Department used improperly political research in justifying their application for surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
As he indicated, however, the opposition research that helped underlie that probe was not all that got and kept the Russia investigation going. Authorities also opened a counterintelligence investigation into President Trump himself at one point, concerned that he was acting as a Russian agent even while in office.
Graham made clear that he believes no realm of investigation should be ignored, claiming that the points he raised had been “pretty much swept under the rug” for far too long. Among other issues, he added that he’d like to look more at a high-profile interaction between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton while the FBI was handling a probe of Hillary’s usage of a private email server.
Just like the topics he cited for investigation, the push for a second special counsel to essentially investigate the first one is not new. Trump’s first Attorney General Jeff Sessions explicitly rebuffed Congressional Republicans’ push for that appointment about a year ago, insisting at the time that a U.S. Attorney he had looking into concerns including possible FISA abuse would produce a “full, complete, and objective evaluation of these matters in a manner that is consistent with the law and the facts.”
Obviously that’s not enough for Graham, who’s dragging the GOP back into their years-long effort to nab a “Gotcha!” moment against Hillary Clinton while simultaneously wanting us to believe his claims that Democrats are pursuing wholly inappropriate aims for continuing to investigate the president after Mueller.
There remain a number of issues — and investigations of the Trump team outside of Congress, like in the case of the federal prosecutors in New York looking into possible corruption at the Trump inaugural committee.
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