Lindsey Graham did Lindsey Graham things again yesterday. While he seems incapable of running his committee investigation against the FBI effectively, he’s really good at going on Fox News and making threats. What results is a lot of bluster and little results.
This June 8th article from Nick Arama is a good example. On the one hand, Graham clearly has the power to subpoena who he needs to subpoena. On the other, he goes on cable news complaining that he’s being blocked from interviewing key FBI officials regarding the Steele dossier. His refusal to not only fully use his power, but to use it in a timely matter has been a continuing problem.
Here’s his latest claim made yesterday on Maria Bartiromo’s show, which my colleague Alex Parker initially covered.
Graham on Fox: Stay tuned. Next week, you're going to find not only did the FBI lie to the FISA court, they lied their ass off to the Congress.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 26, 2020
What Graham doesn’t say is that he’s basically run out the clock at this point. The election is in 100 days, but worse, the Senate only has a handful of days in session left to even deal with this stuff. Is Graham going to interview all the “key” characters, none of whom he’s touched yet (no, Rosenstein was not key), and release a report in 15-20 days of work?
Graham is also saying he’ll call Robert Mueller now to explain why he ignored all this, but that’s essentially impossible to get done before the election as well. Negotiations for such interviews typically take months to nail down and Mueller will not want to cooperate. Will Graham throw down a subpoena and demand he appear in the next two months? Don’t even begin to hold your breath. That’d be a level of hardball that simply hasn’t been played to this point and no one should expect to be played.
Lindsey Graham once said he had no interest in hearing from Robert Mueller.
Now, 100 days out from Election Day, both parties agree that Mueller should testify before Senate Judiciary.
Here’s why that won’t be easy, and why both parties might regret it:https://t.co/jcjXGuhA2C
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) July 26, 2020
I want to point out something here to further drive home my point. Graham promised to make Mueller testify before his committee well over a year ago. Why is he just now deciding it’s something that needs to be done, and only after Democrats also see political advantage in it?
Here was Graham back in mid-2019.
“I’m more committed than ever not to bring him before the Senate,” he told reporters.
That was after he made angry noises about Mueller contradicting Barr and changing the definition of a prosecution from proving guilt to proving innocence (i.e. the not exonerated nonsense).
Graham had every bit of momentum to bring Mueller before the Senate previously and he wasted it, giving no real excuse for why he suddenly changed his mind. But now we are supposed to believe he’ll get this all wrapped up in record time?
No, what’s happened here is that Graham has successfully run out the clock. Early voting starts in just a month for some states. Perhaps he has aims to continue this after the election, but that’s largely irrelevant. By allowing this to drag on so long and not putting out a report before the election, Graham has essentially allowed the culprits to get away with their crimes. The only justice to be delivered here by the Senate was showing the public more evidence of the corruption that occurred. Once the voting is over though, that evidence becomes largely meaningless and can be easily memory-holed.
Graham had almost two years to get this stuff done. Instead, he spent most his time making empty threats on Fox News. He’s going to have to answer for some of his decision making, and if he thinks a Trump loss would mean GOP voters forget about this stuff, he’s sorely mistaken.