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)
There’s been a #whereislindsey hashtag trending for a few days among conservative circles, which is a reaction to the fact that Sen. Lindsey Graham has made some big statements but taken little action to combat Rep. Adam Schiff’s machinations in the House.
At one point, he said “if this continues” that he will subpoena Kurt Volker. Well, it’s continued apace for weeks and the selective leaking has gotten far worse. Yet, Graham has stood pat despite being the head of the extremely powerful Judiciary Committee in the Senate. This goes beyond impeachment as well. He’s failed to call any witnesses dealing with the Trump-Russia investigation despite promising to do so.
Naturally, this has frustrated some on the right.
Julie Kelly of American Greatness pressed Graham for a comment on why he’s been so hesitant to make any moves despite being so forceful on TV. Surprisingly, she got an answer back.
Chairman Graham has been clear—repeatedly—he is waiting for [Justice Department] Inspector General Horowitz to deliver his report. When the report has been delivered and declassified by the Attorney General, Inspector General Horowitz will testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Graham is committed to transparency.” She continued. “If we called the IG and others to the committee before the report was out or declassified, they would be forced to answer many—simple or tough—questions with ‘Sorry we can’t discuss that, it’s classified.’ That is not a productive outcome.
Eh, this is pretty weak I think. The Inspector General is simply not that important and his actions certainly shouldn’t be dictating investigations in the Senate. Horowitz has no subpoena power, no prosecutorial power, and can’t even compel testimony of those who’ve left government. What exactly is Graham waiting on except the watered-down report we all know it will be? It’s Graham who could actually force figures like Brennan and Clapper in front of Congress, not the DOJ’s IG.
Kelly also asked about matters dealing with Trump and Ukraine.
What about Graham’s promise to find out more about the Ukranian “whistleblower?”
Earlier this month, the spokeswoman noted, Graham invited President Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to testify before the Judiciary Committee. That’s nice, but why not anyone from the intelligence community, including the inspector general under fire for his handling of the complaint and refusal to answer questions about his role.
If he wants to call Rudy Giuliani in, by all means. But he’s far from the only figure Graham should be concerned with. Why has he not tried to compel testimony from the “whistleblower” given that we now know he coordinated (on some level) with Adam Schiff and his staff? It’d seem pretty useful to get him under oath and ask him about that. Further, the inconsistencies with last-minute revisions made by the ICIG (Atkinson) to allow the complaint should also be of interest. Yet, Graham has not called him either to testify.
And what about all the witnesses that Schiff is shuffling through? There’s absolutely nothing that says the Senate can’t interview these people in a more transparent way to undercut the secrecy going on in the House.
Heck, we are now approaching the end of the year and Graham hasn’t called a single witness to deal with the Mueller report, how it was run, and whether certain figures like Andrew Weissmann overstepped their bounds. What is the point of holding such a powerful position and being the majority in the Senate if you aren’t going to use that power?
Graham did introduce a resolution today calling for Schiff to stop his games, but it’s not going to even pass. Mitt Romney and company are going to vote it down. It’d also be a non-binding action. You might as well just go on Fox News and read Schiff an angry letter. What’s the point?
Look, I like Graham. I think he’s done a reasonably good job the past few years on some big issues, not the least of which is Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. But he’s going to have to step forward in this process sooner rather than later.
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