Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Monday that he will use his authority as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to potentially “look into the other side” of the story now that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is complete.
Mueller’s report into the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 presidential election did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia, according to a letter to Congress from Attorney General William Barr.
The letter describes “two main” Russian efforts to influence the election including “attempts by a Russian organization … to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States” and “the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations” targeting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic Party.
Graham, one of President Donald Trump’s staunchest allies on Capitol Hill, said he would like to “find somebody like a Mr. Mueller” to look into several other grievances, which he laid out to reporters during a press conference, including why the FBI spied on Trump associate Carter Page, and the 2016 airport tarmac meeting between former attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton.
“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: “If the shoe were on the other foot, it would be front page news all over the world. The double standard here has been striking and quite frankly disappointing.”
Graham, like most Democrats and several other Republican senators, also called for the public release of the Mueller report.
“My desire is for the public to get as much of the report as possible…” Graham said.
Several Republicans have indicated that despite the Mueller investigation being over, they want to see the underlying evidence.
“I appreciate the Attorney General’s quick turnaround in sharing his summary of the Special Counsel’s report. AG Barr should release as much of the report as possible, without jeopardizing U.S. intelligence sources and methods or ongoing Department of Justice prosecutions,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr said Sunday in a tweet.
But other GOP senators also think it’s time for Congress to move on from investigating Trump.
“Democrats in Congress now have a choice to make: accept the findings of the Mueller report and move on to advancing the business of the American people or instead pander to their fringe base by rejecting the Mueller report and launching politically-motivated and conspiracy-fueled investigations that will further divide our country,” GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina said in a statement.
Graham also vowed to bring in Attorney General William Barr before his committee to testify on the investigation and its findings. But it was unclear if he intends to call in Mueller.
“I don’t know the answer to that about the special counsel himself,” Graham said. “Let’s start with Mr. Barr, who is in charge of the Department of Justice. I want you to know as much as you possibly can know. It’s a big deal.”
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