Republicans are getting ready to flip the tables and launch their own investigations after the Senate acquits President Donald Trump. Sen. Lindsey Graham warned that the Senate Intelligence Committee will call the whistleblower whose complaint ended up launching the impeachment inquiry against Trump while the Foreign Relations Committee will investigate Joe Biden.
“The Senate Intel committee under Richard Burr has told us that we will call the whistleblower,” Graham said on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures. “Why is it important? I want to know how all this crap started.” Graham went on to say that he wants to know what ties the whistleblower who first raised a red flag regarding Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has with Democrats. “If the whistleblower is a former employee of, associate of, Joe Biden, I think that would be important. If the whistleblower was working with people on Schiff’s staff that wanted to take Trump down a year and a half ago, I think that would be important. If the Schiff staff people helped write the complaint, that would be important. We’re going to get to the bottom of all of this to make sure this never happens again,” Graham said.
Graham said that in addition to the investigation into the whistleblower, the Foreign Relations Committee will be looking into Biden’s alleged conflicts of interest because of his son’s work on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma. “I’m gonna bring in State Department officials and ask them, ‘Why didn’t you do something about the obvious conflict of interest Joe Biden had?’” Graham said. “Joe Biden’s effort to combat corruption in the Ukraine became a joke.” The senator from South Carolina assured that he “can prove beyond any doubt that Joe Biden’s effort in the Ukraine to root out corruption was undercut because he let his son sit on the board of the most corrupt company in the Ukraine and we’re not gonna give him a pass on that.”
Under Graham’s telling three committees will be launching investigations after the impeachment trial is over. “Senate Intel will deal with the whistleblower, Foreign Relations committee will deal with Joe Biden’s conflict of interest, the Judiciary Committee will deal with all things FISA,” he said.
Despite Graham’s assurances though there is no indication that Republican senators are all on board with this plan. Burr said last year that he “absolutely” wanted the whistleblower to testify but other GOP senators were not really eager to go down that path. Graham said though that failure to take on these issues would be a disservice to members of their party. “Let me tell Republicans out there. You should expect us to do this. If we don’t do it, we’re letting you down,” Graham said. “I guarantee you …. if the shoe were on the other foot, Democrats would be eating us alive if Republicans had done any of these things.”
Support our independent journalism
Readers like you make our work possible. Help us continue to provide the reporting, commentary and criticism you won’t find anywhere else.Join Slate Plus