Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pauses while speaking to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, after his meeting with President Donald Trump, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Sen. Lindsey Graham has repeatedly and publicly promised to call witnesses to testify before the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee which he chairs in the search for the truth about the origins of the Trump/Russia probe, the current impeachment inquiry, and several other farces which have been thrust on President Trump by the Democrats. Yet, he fails to act.
The situation has now become critical. Contrary to everything the United States stands for, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff is trying to unilaterally remove President Trump from office. It’s been said that one witness who appeared before his committee, former Ambassador Kurt Volker, provided testimony which undercut Schiff’s narrative about the July 25th Trump/Zelensky phone call. Today, however, Schiff took a deposition from the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, who according to witnesses, bolstered the House Democrats’ case. Witnesses said Taylor’s opening statement left Democratic lawmakers “gasping.” My colleague, Bonchie, posted about that train wreck here.
The obvious next step for Republicans would be for Graham to call Volcker, Taylor and others who have given depositions to Schiff’s Committee to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Graham’s reluctance to take action has many people wondering. In his frequent appearances on cable news programs, he’s been talking the talk. On his Monday night show, Tucker Carlson played a video montage of Graham promising to “get the answers, the best he knows how” over and over again.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) joined Carlson and expressed his frustration with Graham’s inertia. Tucker asked Paul if Graham’s foreign policy differences with Trump are the reason for his inaction? Graham has disagreed mightily with the President over his decision to withdraw forces from Ukraine. But that’s a recent event. Graham has led the Sen. Judiciary Committee since January.
Here’s what Paul had to say:
I’ve encouraged him publicly and privately to do this. I’d like to see John Brennan come in. I’d like him to testify and I would ask him very pointedly, “Did you talk to the British intelligence agencies? Did you set up spying by foreign intelligence agencies on the President or the President’s campaign? I think he did and I think that’s against the law. I’ve talked to people who are convinced, these people are so officious, that there’s probably paperwork they have filled out.
I think he did call the British agents and I think he did get them involved. But it’s also important to know, Christopher Steele and that Steel dossier. Did he talk to Russian agents?
That’s been the rumor for years now.
So everything that Trump has been accused of doing, investigating a political rival in a foreign country, all of those questions should be asked of the Democrats.
There are a lot of Republicans who are more loyal to the deep state than they are to the president.
Rush Limbaugh has a theory about why Graham hasn’t used his position to fight back against the Democrats:
He could be subpoenaing people, he could be demanding to see — he could be doing in the Senate what they’re doing in the House except he could be doing it to the people that ran this phony investigation into Trump. He could be tracking them all up there. And people ask, “Why isn’t he doing anything?”
And you know what the popular theory is? The popular theory is that he’s got cold feet about doing this because it would implicate Senator McCain, one of his great friends. And it may be true. John McCain was at the epicenter of the Steele dossier’s dissemination. John McCain was one of the leaders in the effort to get Trump and his election reversed and thrown out of town using the Steele dossier and any investigation of this is going to demonstrate this. And many are theorizing that Lindsey Graham just doesn’t want to see Senator McCain’s name dragged through this kind of mud, so there’s no investigation.
I’m skeptical of this theory, because based on what is publicly known about the Democrat’s Trump/Russia collusion investigation, McCain’s role was minor and it came after the 2016 election. McCain claimed he was approached at a national security conference in Nova Scotia by a retired British diplomat who told him about the dossier. He sent his aide, David Kramer, to London to meet with Christopher Steele. Kramer came back to Washington with a copy of the dossier and told the Senator that Steele had seemed credible. McCain handed the document to James Comey on December 9th. The FBI had known about the dossier since the summer. They had been receiving regular updates through DOJ official Bruce Ohr.
Because Graham and McCain were very close friends, he could very well have information that we don’t. But, on the face of it, it doesn’t sound likely.
Whatever the reason is, (prior to Trump’s decision to pull troops from Syria) Graham has been one of Trump’s most vocal supporters and his lack of action is confounding.
Today, it was reported that Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, will be calling in witnesses to testify about the basis of the impeachment inquiry. No surprise there. Although Burr certainly isn’t one of the President’s fans, his committee’s Trump/Russia investigation found no evidence of collusion.
Senate Intel Cmte Chair Burr says his committee is already bringing in and scheduling witnesses. Burr: “Anybody who was in the proccess, I’m bringing in”
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 22, 2019
Senate Intel Cmte Chair Burr says he wants to hear from intelligence community Inspector General Mike Atkinson, wanting to understand how he reached his conclusions about the first whistleblower’s credibility
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 22, 2019
Following Volker’s House testimony several weeks ago, Graham again promised to call him before his committee if the Democrats continued with their unethical tactics. Earlier today, Donald Trump, Jr. responded. He tweeted, “I repeat…its continuing.”
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 22, 2019