Lindsay Graham Warns Comey: Regular Order is not Working
Lindsay Graham-one of the few Republicans these days capable of putting country over party-is over Comey:
“According to CNN, the FBI director told senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Lindsey Graham he would answer the question, when they spoke in a private meeting.”
“Graham also asked Comey for evidence in regards to Trump’s claims that Obama had wiretapped his phones during the election, reported the news outlet.”
“The South Carolina senator continued that if he didn’t receive an answer by Wednesday, he would make the judicial hearing very difficult for Comey.”
Graham also warned Comey that if regular order doesn’t start working in a hurry, it will be Select-Committee time.
“Late Monday, a spokesman for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) threatened to subpoena the Trump administration to produce evidence of Trump’s claim that President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the campaign. The White House has declined to produce this evidence publicly, offering various excuses, including the Constitution’s separation of powers and — most recently on Monday — arguing that Trump wasn’t speaking literally when he made the claim.”
“The Justice Department missed Nunes’s deadline to provide evidence Monday, which drew Nunes’s subpoena threat.”
“If the committee does not receive a response, the committee will ask for this information during the March 20 hearing and may resort to a compulsory process if our questions continue to go unanswered,” Nunes spokesman Jack Langer said.”
“Then, on Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) made his own threat. Last week, Graham — who is clearly skeptical of the wiretapping claim and chairs a subcommittee looking into it — asked the Justice Department and the FBI to provide copies of any warrants or court orders related to the alleged wiretapping. Having not received anything, Graham said Tuesday that he would announce his next steps Wednesday and may push for a special committee.”
Even Trump guys like Nunes are tired of having to answer questions without any answers-no cooperation from Comey.
“The White House’s reactions to Trump’s evidence-free claims — be it this one or the one about millions of illegal votes in 2016 — is to call for investigations. That has the triple benefit of putting the onus on someone else to look into it, to buy some time and hope people forget that the president is making such wild allegations, and, in this case, to give themselves an excuse to clam up. The White House initially said it wouldn’t comment on Trump’s wiretapping claim while it was being investigated and then it said it couldn’t provide evidence because of separation of powers — another claim that strained credulity.”
“But that also puts Republicans such as Nunes and Graham in the position of having to account for these claims — and calling on Trump and his team to put up or shut up. By pushing the administration to produce evidence — or else — they are effectively putting the ball back in the executive branch’s court. The subtext: You can’t just make these claims and then ask us to deal with the fallout.”
“Nunes in particular has faced some very tough questions from reporters, and he must feel as though he’s being hung out to dry. Graham’s angle is slightly different, in that he clearly doesn’t think Trump’s claim is accurate and wants to prove it. “If there is no warrant, then we’ll have solved this problem: There was no wiretapping,” he said this week.
Graham, though a Republican really wants to get to the bottom of this and follow the evidence wherever it will be.
Comey is supposed to let Graham and his Dem on the Judiciary counterpart Sheldon Whitehouse know this afternoon if there is in fact a Russia-Trump investigation.
Then next week Comey finally speaks publicly in a House hearing.
“FBI Director James Comey has agreed to appear at a public House Intelligence Committee hearing next Monday on the investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election, Chairman Devin Nunes told reporters Wednesday.”
“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the panel’s top Democrat, separately said on Wednesday morning that they would be getting a briefing on Russia on Wednesday afternoon. A committee aide confirmed Comey would be briefing the senators, although other administration officials may be on hand.”
“Bipartisan pressure has been growing from members of the Senate panel, which oversees the Department of Justice, for more answers on the federal probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.”
“Grassley said earlier this week that he would not schedule a committee vote for Rod Rosenstein — Trump’s pick for deputy attorney general — until the committee was briefed by Comey.”
So we should be getting some answers very soon. Stay tuned.
P.S. As we saw this morning, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
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