By Jon Dougherty @JonDougherty10
(TNS) As Americans are preoccupied with staying afloat amid a coronavirus-related shutdown, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has finally begun delivering on an investigation he promised months ago.
The origins of the FBI’s politicized “Spygate” counterintelligence operation against the 2016 Trump campaign.
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With uncertainties over how badly the coronavirus shutdown will harm the economy and how long that harm will last taking up most of our time and the oxygen in news cycles, what Graham’s doing is important because the objective is to ensure that what happened to President Trump does not happen again. Ever.
Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson interviewed Graham this week and asked, among other things, how the probe was going and what his objectives were.
Amid the coronavirus panic, a quiet investigation has begun on Capitol Hill led by Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham. Heâ€™s already begun interviewing unnamed government officials. It involves accountability for the FBIâ€™s improper wiretaps against a government citizen who happened to be affiliated with the Trump campaign.
Sharyl: What can you tell me about the closed door interviews that youâ€™re doing or planning related to the surveillance court and the FBIâ€™s alleged abuses?
Sen. Graham: Well, what Iâ€™m trying to do is get to the bottom of how it happens. So we donâ€™t do it again.
Sharyl: At the heart of his questions are the governmentâ€™s improper wiretaps of former Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page in 2016 and 2017.
Graham says he really wants to know what top Obama officials James Clapper, Sally Yates, Andrew McCabe and James Comey knew, when they knew it, and what their roles were in perpetuating the most obscene and obvious political scandal in the history of the republic.
The wiretap abuses were revealed in a report from Inspector General Michael Horowitz last December. Horowitz criticized the FBIâ€™s reliance on political opposition research, not proven facts, to justify four wiretaps against Page.
The research, called a â€œdossier,â€ was secretly paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democrats. It was put together by ex-British Spy Christopher Steele. Steele relied on Russian sources who made unverified and sordid allegations about Page and Donald Trump and their supposed Russian ties which proved untrue.
Horowitz found the FBI knew they were on shaky ground. In January 2017, four government agents interviewed a main Russian source for the dossier. He said his own information about Page and Trump was nothing to base a wiretap on.
“So the thing that intrigues me the most is in January, 2017, the primary sub source, a Russian who prepared all the information to give to Christopher Steele to go in the dossier, was interviewed by the FBI and the Department of Justice,” Graham said.
“There were four people in the interview. And he basically told them, according to the Horowitz report, ‘This is bar talk, itâ€™s not reliable. Iâ€™ve never meant it to be used this way. I canâ€™t believe youâ€™re getting a warrant based on this document,'” he continued.
Graham told Attkisson he couldn’t say who the four individuals are on television, but he said two work for the Justice Department and two for the FBI.
“The odds that these four people dealing with the most high profile investigation maybe in the history of the FBI, did not tell Comey, McCabe, and people higher up I think are pretty low. But thatâ€™s yet to be established,” he added.
“McCabe and Comey are basically saying, ‘I didnâ€™t know about all this.’ I find that hard to believe, so Iâ€™m going to go start at the bottom and work my way to the top and Iâ€™ll let you know what we find,” Graham said.
Yes, sir. Please do. And when you’re finished, how about some criminal referrals too?
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