Lindsey Graham is back at it again, using his position as chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee to try and run defense for his buddy Donald Trump.
One day after a judge ruled that former Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort violated his plea agreement when he lied to federal agents, Graham announced he’s going to conduct an investigation into a conspiracy theory surrounding former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
Trump and his defenders on Fox News have tried to claim that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant used to wiretap Page — an energy consultant who has documented Russian ties and has given bizarre interviews on cable news — is evidence of some kind of bias against the Trump campaign by the FBI.
And now Graham is reopening that ridiculous conspiracy in yet another attempt to get the attention off of Trump.
Graham is hinging the investigation on an interview former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe gave to CBS’ 60 Minutes, in which McCabe revealed that he was concerned Trump or other officials in Trump’s orbit would try to shut down the Russia investigation to cover up their efforts to collude with Russia during the 2016 campaign.
“After Mr. McCabe’s 60 Minutes interview, it is imperative that he, and others, come before the Senate Judiciary Committee to fully explain how and why a FISA warrant was issued against Carter Page and answer questions about what appears to be, now more than ever, bias against President Trump,” Graham said in the statement.
A year ago, the House Intelligence Committee — then run by Republicans — issued a bizarre report about the Page surveillance, claiming it was based on information from the infamous Steele dossier and thus was somehow improper and proof that the FBI was out to get Trump from the start.
However Democrats have said the Page FISA warrant was also based on other things — including that the Russian intelligence operatives had tried to recruit Page in 2013, long before he was hired by the Trump campaign.
But all of this brouhaha aside, the Page FISA warrant is merely a smokescreen for Republicans seeking to muddy the waters and protect Trump, as Page was not the reason the Russia investigation was launched in the first place. Trump can thank his former aide George Papadopoulos for that.
And no matter how much Graham or other Republicans try and run interference for Trump, polls show the public continues to trust that Mueller’s team will come out with the truth.
Published with permission of The American Independent.