By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) As presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani continues to dig up Ukraine-related evidence that allegedly ties Joe and Hunter Biden to corrupt activities in that Eastern European country, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appears to be getting more deeply involved in vetting the information.
And that may — or may not — be a good thing.
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In an interview Sunday with CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” on the heels of a claim by Giuliani that he has found “smoking gun” corruption evidence on Hunter Biden that includes three witnesses willing to give sworn testimony, Graham sounded a cautionary note.
He also claimed that a new process for handling and vetting Giuliani’s evidence had been established with the Justice Department.
“The Department of Justice is receiving information coming out of the Ukraine from Rudy,” Graham said. “[Attorney General Bill Barr] told me that they have created a process that Rudy could give information and they would see if it’s verified.”
CBS News noted further:
Graham, a key ally of the president’s, said he spoke with Barr on Sunday morning, as well as Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican. He said they urged him to “take very cautiously” information from Ukraine against Republicans and Democrats.
“If Rudy Giuliani has any information coming out of the Ukraine, he needs to turn it over to the Department of Justice because it could be Russian propaganda,” Graham said, making a stern plea for Giuliani and all U.S. politicians to be wary of that information because it “may be backed by Russian misinformation.”
After being pressed as to whether he believes Giuliani is being played by Moscow, Graham couldn’t say.
“I’m telling Rudy, you think you’ve got the goods? Don’t give it to me, because what do we know? We know the Russian disinformation campaign was used against President Trump. They hacked into the DNC system, not the Ukrainians, and they’re on the ground all over the world trying to affect democracy,” Graham said.
In truth, we’ve been repeatedlyÂ told that Russia hacked into the DNC servers because that’s what the DNC has said, as well as several deep state figures who we know are either involved in, or are enabling, the ongoing coup against President Trump.
Never forget that when the FBI offered its forensic services to examine the DNC’s email servers in order to find out who really was responsible, the DNC said ‘no thanks’ and left it at that.
In any event, CBS News continued:
Giuliani traveled to Ukraine late last year in the midst of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against Mr. Trump, which centered around his dealings with the country and efforts to pressure Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to publicly announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
During his trip, Giuliani met with former Ukrainian prosecutors who claimed to have knowledge of unsubstantiated wrongdoing by Biden and others, and said in December he planned to draft a report of his findings for congressional Republicans and the attorney general.
But Graham said any information should be vetted and verified by the intelligence community.
“Rudy Giuliani is a well-known man. He’s a crime fighter. He’s loyal to the president. He’s a good lawyer,” Graham added. “But what I’m trying to say to the president and anybody else is, the Russians are still up to it. Deterrence is not working.”
This is all very curious.
Giuliani isn’t an intelligence expert, of course, but he’s a former federal prosecutor who knows how to obtain evidence that he can substantiate. And certainly, since there is a potential foreign influence operation involved, it’s hard to imagine that Giuliani could be ‘played,’ given his additional experience as mayor of New York City, which itself has a first-rate intelligence unit within the NYPD because it must: The city is our country’s financial center and it’s full of other high-value targets.
There are times, in other words, when it seems as though Graham is still doing his best impression of the late John McCain, his friend: Running interference for something, or someone, when he really ought to be sticking to the business of being a senator.
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