A day after President Donald Trump suggested someone should “look into the other side” now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is complete, a certain someone dutifully stepped forward: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
In a Monday press conference on Capitol Hill, the South Carolina senator–one of the president’s staunchest allies in Congress–declared that his next move is going after Democrats and the Department of Justice over “what happened” to Trump.
Graham laid out a laundry list of questions and grievances that have been stewing on the right since the 2016 election: How did FBI go about spying on Carter Page, a Trump campaign associate with links to Russia? What was the deal with Bill Clinton meeting with Barack Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch, on an airport tarmac? How did the infamous “dossier” compiled by hired British spy Christopher Steele come to be? What about Hillary Clinton's emails?
All of these questions, Graham said, will be at the top of the agenda for the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs. “What happens next,” he said, “is that I have been talking since 2017 about the other side of the story. And nobody much appeared to care, but I hope you will find some interest now.”
“When it comes to the FISA warrant, the Clinton campaign, the counterintelligence investigation, it’s pretty much been swept under the rug. Those days are over,” he said. “I’m going to get answers to this.”
He added that Steele should testify in front of senators, and he did not back down from a cryptic tweet he sent Sunday that he’d “soon” be seeing former FBI Director James Comey.
Graham also reiterated a call for the administration to appoint a special counsel–a “Mueller-like figure,” in Graham’s words–to investigate the FBI for allegedly working to sink Trump in 2016. He did, however, acknowledge that Comey’s announcements of FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server affected the outcome of the election. “If the shoe were on the other foot, Republicans would have been pretty mad about that,” he said.
Graham spent Sunday golfing with Trump near his Florida retreat and described the president’s demeanor as “amazingly calm” as he awaited Barr’s report. He bristled at a reporter’s question that his closeness to Trump undermines his ability to investigate these topics fairly. “You’ve got to be kidding,” he scoffed.
While the South Carolina senator refocused his fire on Democrats and the DOJ, he did say he will ask Barr to testify before his committee and answer questions about his decision-making about Mueller’s findings and how he communicated them.