Exclusive — Chairman Lindsey Graham: Senate Hearings Coming with DOJ Inspector General Soon
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Breitbart News exclusively on Monday evening that his committee is planning hearings soon, beginning with Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general Michael Horowitz as soon as Horowitz releases his imminent report on the origins of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
“The Horowitz report is coming soon,” Graham said Monday evening when reached by phone. “The focus of the Judiciary Committee will hear testimony from him, and follow whatever leads the report gives us about the FISA warrant and the counterintelligence investigation. So my number one goal is to hear from Horowitz and make a record of how the system got off the rails regarding the counterintelligence investigation and the FISA warrant.”
Graham said he expects Horowitz’s report to come “in a couple of weeks,” and his Judiciary Committee will be holding a hearing with the Inspector General as soon as that comes out.
“I would expect that we start with him, and see where it takes us,” Graham said of Horowitz’s expected report and forthcoming testimony.
Graham’s interview here confirming forthcoming Senate hearings on this matter comes in the wake of last week, when House Democrats formally launching an “impeachment inquiry” into President Donald Trump after a “whistleblower” complaint alleged he had committed wrongdoing in a phone call with Ukraine’s new president Volodymyr Zelensky. The Democrats launched their impeachment inquiry before they had the transcript of the call or the whistleblower complaint, and neither—since publicly released—have lived up to their hype.
This also comes after the years-long investigation by Mueller failed to uncover any evidence of collusion or conspiracy between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russian efforts to interfere in the election or to show that Trump obstructed justice. The Mueller probe, and Democrats’ efforts to investigate the Russia hoax in Congress, fell flat in the summer, leaving Democrats without much to go after Trump on heading into the August recess.
Then this whistleblower complaint came to light in the last few weeks, with Democrats in Congress reportedly becoming aware of it over the August recess. Things eventually hit a fever pitch last week when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rushed forward with impeachment proceedings into Trump before obtaining the evidence.
Horowitz, the DOJ’s Inspector General, has for months been looking into the origins of the Russia collusion investigation. Some have suggested that the Democrats perhaps moved forward with this impeachment proceeding against Trump as part of a bid to pre-empt whatever comes out in the soon-to-be-published report and eventual further actions.
As for the newer whistleblower element of things, for now, Graham said the Senate Intelligence Committee is where the whistleblower complaint angle on this lies, although he did say other committees may get involved soon.
“As for the whistleblower complaint, it’s been referred to the Intel Committee,” Graham said. “I will expect that they will look at the complaint. Whether or not other committees get involved, it’s too early to tell, because we’ve got to wait to see what Intel does.”
When it comes to conversations Attorney General Bill Barr has had with foreign leaders about their countries’ roles in the creation of the counterintelligence operation, Graham said he sees absolutely nothing wrong with that.
“As for Barr talking to foreign governments as to what role they may have played in the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign—very appropriate,” Graham said. “I find it laughable that the Democrats are objecting to the Attorney General trying to find out what role foreign entities played in the counterintelligence investigation when Democratic senators wrote a letter to the Ukrainian government threatening to cut off aid if they didn’t cooperate with Mueller.”
Graham added, too, in response to the latest story in the New York Times that Trump brought up the Mueller probe origins with Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, that the president did nothing wrong, and this is completely normal despite what Democrats say.
“I am glad that Australia is cooperating with Barr and [Connecticut’s U.S. Attorney John] Durham and trying to find out if any laws were broken regarding the counterintelligence investigation,” Graham said. “Again, Democrats are okay with talking to foreign governments if it’s to get Trump. But they’re not okay with talking to foreign governments when it comes to whether or not Trump was treated unfairly.”
“Now, all of a sudden, it would be bad for Barr to talk to somebody or the president wanting his attorney general to find out what happened? Give me a break,” Graham added.
What’s more, Graham expects the forthcoming Horowitz hearings to be just the beginning.
“Start with Horowitz. Start with Horowitz,” Graham said. “I think what the system needs to do is look at the other side like Mueller looked at Trump. We had Mueller do a two-year probe of the Trump campaign and how it operated. Now it’s time to figure out how the system got so far off the rails.”
“So, if Horowitz tells us that the system got off the rails with the warrant and counterintelligence investigation, then it will be up to Durham to look at criminality and it will be up to Congress to make sure it never happens again,” Graham continued.
Graham said he thinks that former President Barack Obama himself was likely at the top of all of this, and was aware of it all.
“You don’t think Obama knew about the counterintelligence investigation?” Graham said. “I’ll bet you everything I own that Obama knew about the counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.”
He also said that he is unsure what comes of this, with particular regard to former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden—who was working for Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma despite having no experience in the field. The then-Vice President infamously told the Ukrainians to fire the prosecutor who was investigating Burisma when Hunter Biden was working for the company, or he would hold up significant U.S. aid to Ukraine. Biden bragged at a public event later that Ukraine gave in to his demands.
“As to the Bidens, where this goes I don’t know, but stay tuned,” Graham said.