The Slatest

Lindsey Graham Wants a New Special Counsel, This Time to Investigate Comey and the FBI

Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Sen. Lindsey Graham at the U.S. Capitol on Monday.
Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, fresh off a madcap weekend golfing and rallying with the president, addressed reporters on Monday to talk about the “cloud” that has “been removed” from the president, and his upcoming investigatory prerogatives as chairman of the Judiciary Committee. To Graham, the Mueller special counsel investigation looked into only one side of alleged malfeasance during the 2016 campaign. Now he intends to look at the other, and hopes the Justice Department does as well.

“Nobody much appears to care,” he said of the media, “but I hope you will find some interest now: that the FISA warrant issued against [former Trump advisor] Carter Page, based on a dossier prepared by Christopher Steele, is at a minimum disturbing. Whether or not it’s illegal, I don’t yet know. So I’m going to get answers to this.”

Graham is talking generally about allegations that certain FBI agents were biased against Trump during the 2016 election and chose to investigate certain campaign associates under dubious cause. He said that the “double standard” between the amount of attention the FISA story has gotten, versus the allegations of Trump officials colluding with the Russians, has been “striking and quite frankly disappointing.”

“I am 100 percent convinced that if the Republican Party had hired Mr. Steele to go to Russia and investigate Clinton,” he said, “and the report was prepared and given to the Department of Justice, used to get a warrant against a Clinton associate, and the underlying information in the dossier proved to be garbage—everybody in the world would have it on the front page. It would be endless chatter on the cable networks.”

But the question over anti-Trump bias at the FBI isn’t the only part of the “other side of the story” that Graham wants to look at. He also wants to examine why former FBI Director Jim Comey “did what he did” at the (initial) end of the Clinton email investigation in July 2016— i.e., “make a statement that, ‘she did a lot of bad things, but not quite a crime.’ ” He further wants to know why Comey, after issuing the famous letter toward the end of the election reopening the investigation, was able to say within 48 hours that “everybody’s good to go.” The way Graham described this suggests that he believes Comey’s behavior helped Hillary Clinton during the election, an interpretation with which Clinton might take issue.

Graham doesn’t want to look into this all by himself. He wants Attorney General Bill Barr to appoint a second special counsel.

“I’d like to find somebody like a Mr. Mueller,” he said, “that can look into what happened with the FISA warrant, what happened with the counterintelligence investigation.”

With Mueller behind us, and Graham leading the way at the Judiciary Committee, we may finally be able to get to the bottom of how the FBI stole victory from Donald Trump and illicitly delivered the presidency to its beloved Hillary Clinton.