Lindsey Graham calls for special counsel to probe FBI handling of Hillary Clinton

By and – The Washington Times – Thursday, March 14, 2019

Sen. Lindsey Graham called Thursday for Congress to create a special counsel to probe the and Justice Department, saying evidence is mounting that they treated more leniently than they did President during the 2016 election campaign.

Mr. Graham made the call as newly released documents show the extent of anti- sentiment among employees who were instrumental in handling the investigation into ’s secret email server and in launching the investigation that turned into Robert Mueller’s special counsel probe.

The documents released this week — transcripts of interviews from fired agent and former lawyer — show they were determined to prevent from becoming president and had impeachment on their minds once he did take office.

Mr. Graham took to the Senate floor to say Mr. Mueller has had his chance to deal with and now it’s time to turn the microscope the other way. He said he will introduce legislation to create another special counsel for that purpose.

“There’s more than smoking guns here. There’s overwhelming evidence that somebody outside the political system should look into,” the South Carolina Republican said.

The Mueller investigation appears to be coming to an end, and Democrats are trying to make sure the findings are public.

The Democrat-led House approved a resolution Thursday morning urging Attorney General William P. Barr to release Mr. Mueller’s final report. The resolution passed on a 420-0 vote.

But when Senate Democrats tried to raise it in the upper chamber, Mr. Graham objected. He said he would have allowed it if Democrats, in exchange, supported the special counsel he wants. But Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, refused.

“We let [Robert] Mueller look at all things related to collusion and otherwise. Somebody needs to look at what happened on the other side and find out whether the and the DOJ had two systems — one supporting the person they wanted to win, and one out to get the person they wanted to lose,” he said.

In remarks to The , Mr. Graham said his committee will hold hearings on bias at the and the Justice Department.

“Did they take what was apparently a molehill of evidence against to open up an investigation as an insurance policy in case he won? I don’t know, but what I’ve heard bothers the hell out of me,” he said.

Mr. Graham said the Senate specifically will get to the bottom of whether the bureau misled judges when it obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to spy on campaign figure Carter Page.

“I promise everybody in the country that in the Senate, we’re going to have hearings about the FISA process,” he said.

Mr. Graham said the hearings will focus on how the obtained the warrant using a salacious, unverified dossier written by former British spy Christopher Steele. The dossier is full of unsubstantiated claims about ’s ties to .

The used the dossier as part of its argument to the court to obtain the surveillance warrant on , and used it in subsequent renewals of the warrant.

The dossier claims met with Russian officials with ties to Kremlin strongman Vladimir Putin during the 2016 campaign. has vehemently denied the claim. It also claims longtime fixer Michael Cohen met with Russians in the Czech Republic to coordinate plans — a charge he also has denied and has continued to deny even since turning against .

Republicans have claimed the has failed to disclose that the dossier’s author was being funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign as opposition research.

The dossier, along with texts between and , are among the Republicans’ top evidence for misconduct at the and Justice Department.

The House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees, when they were controlled last year by Republicans, called in and to give testimony about their own behavior.

Those transcripts were secret until this week, when Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, now the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, inserted them into the Congressional Record.

In a transcript released Thursday, said his favorable opinion of did not influence the investigation into her use of her home server to send classified emails.

But he acknowledged that was not a target, subject or suspect during the investigation. Instead, investigators viewed her as “a critical player.”

He also disputed assertions that his texts to showed animus toward — though his memory didn’t jibe with that of , with whom he was having an adulterous affair at the time.

She testified that a text she sent to telling him the Trump investigation would save the country from a “menace” referred to . told the committee that he thought the menace was .

also disputed the meaning of the now-famous text in which fretted would win the election. The former G-man responded “No. No he won’t We’ll stop it.”

This has been widely taken to mean the would do what it had to do to prevent a victory. While said in his testimony that he didn’t recall writing the text, he did add that he believes the “we” he meant was the American voters.

“My answer ‘No’ was my personal belief that I did not think he would be,” the fired agent said, adding later, “My best sense looking at this text that I didn’t recall until I read it very recently, was that ‘we’ is my belief that the American people — there is no way that they’re going to elect him.

“What it is not is any statement that I would ever consider, let alone take any official action, to impact the presidency of the United States,” he said.

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