While Americans die in large numbers each and every day due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appears focused less on helping struggling Americans and more on running punitive political investigations into President Donald Trump’s political opponents, like a loyal shill. This week, he revealed that the Judiciary Committee would soon start holding hearings looking into the origins of the Russia investigation as if it was some kind of secretly orchestrated political hit job against the president. It wasn’t; it was a duly launched investigation in response to abundant evidence.
NEW: @SenKamalaHarris demands Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham to hold a hearing on the spread of COVID-19 in our prisons. Over 2,800 inmates in federal prisons reported to have the virus. pic.twitter.com/gF05ZEyrd2
— Meaghan Lynch (@MeaghanBLynch) May 14, 2020
Nevertheless, Graham says that the Judiciary Committee will start holding Russia investigation-related hearings in June, and a summary report of their findings will soon follow. Using the codename for the Russia investigation, he stated:
‘The Judiciary Committee will begin holding multiple, in-depth congressional hearings regarding all things related to Crossfire Hurricane starting in early June.’
Areas of interest will include the federal investigation into Michael Flynn specifically, the surveillance of one-time Trump adviser Carter Page, and the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Well over 1,000 Americans died today due to the Coronavirus, but these are Graham’s priorities — a political wish list.
10 thousand unmasking last year, 17 thousand in 2018. Necessary and routine. Can people please stop trying to gaslight us? https://t.co/kCnAx3Rok2
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) May 14, 2020
Previously, Graham had already spoken out about the Flynn investigation in particular following the Justice Department’s decision to drop the case against him, although he admitted to lying to federal investigators about his contacts with the then-Russian Ambassador. As part of that investigation, Flynn’s identity was at one point “unmasked” after having been concealed in transcripts of intercepted communications of that ambassador. Graham and others have suggested that the unmasking was some kind of political hit job, although it’s done thousands upon thousands of times per year as part of routine intelligence work. Also — it’s unclear how the anti-Trump plot could have unfolded if officials didn’t even know Flynn’s identity until after the unmasking.
It's very obvious to everyone that Trump has no idea what "Obamagate" is — beyond a mindless hashtag to distract from the pandemic until some combination of Barr, Durham, and/or Grenell offer up something he can take out of context and disingenuously seize upon. https://t.co/xa5FcOWWbL
— Ned Price (@nedprice) May 12, 2020
Nevertheless, Graham tweeted:
‘In light of General Flynn’s unmasking by the Obama Administration, the job of Congress will be to perform oversight of these unmasking requests to ensure the process was used for legitimate national security concerns, not reprisals or political curiosity.’
In light of General Flynn’s unmasking by the Obama Administration, the job of Congress will be to perform oversight of these unmasking requests to ensure the process was used for legitimate national security concerns, not reprisals or political curiosity.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 13, 2020
Graham has also, notably, derided the idea that Trump posted on Twitter for Barack Obama himself to get called in to testify. Without actually specifying what on earth he’s even talking about, Trump tweeted:
‘If I were a Senator or Congressman, the first person I would call to testify about the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA, by FAR, is former President Obama. He knew EVERYTHING.’
If I were a Senator or Congressman, the first person I would call to testify about the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA, by FAR, is former President Obama. He knew EVERYTHING. Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, just do it. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more talk!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 14, 2020
‘As to the Judiciary Committee, both presidents are welcome to come before the committee and share their concerns about each other. If nothing else it would make for great television. However, I have great doubts about whether it would be wise for the country.’
Now Graham is concerned about what’s wise for the country? Why then is he focusing his attention on this while Americans die in large numbers from a preventable disease on his and Trump’s watch?
Asked Graham about this tweet just now. He reiterated that he’s not going to call in Obama.
“I don’t think now’s the time for me to do that. I don’t know if that’s even possible.”
“I understand President Trump’s frustration, but be careful what you wish for.” https://t.co/B5LVPcznJR
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) May 14, 2020