Sen. Lindsey Graham said he plans to meet with Attorney General William Barr this week to discuss how to maximize the impact of documents relevant to the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.
The South Carolina Republican, who is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday that Americans deserve to know as much as possible about the operations of their government.
“I’m going to meet the attorney general this week to talk to him about how best to tell the story,” Graham said. “I don’t want people to conjecture as to what happened. I want you to read it.”
The senator listed off such documents as transcripts of FBI interviews, known as 302s, with witnesses, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant applications taken out against onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, and transcripts of confidential informants who reportedly made contact with George Papadopoulos, another adviser whose boast to an Australian diplomat about the Russians having dirt on Hillary Clinton effectively prompted the counterintelligence investigation into Trump’s campaign in the summer of 2016.
A DOJ spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.
Earlier this year, Barr began what has been called an “investigation into the investigators,” led by U.S. Attorney John Durham, and President Trump gave him “full and complete authority to declassify information” related to the federal investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The attorney general has said he is also working closely with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is wrapping up an investigation into alleged FISA abuses. When Horowitz’s report comes out, Graham has said his committee will conduct its own “deep dive” into the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation.
Although Republicans who believe top officials in the Justice Department and the FBI unfairly targeted Trump, perhaps to give a boost to his 2016 rival Hillary Clinton, Democrats have argued the FBI’s actions were justified and the president’s allies are trying to distract from and discredit the Russia investigation.
Bemoaning the lack of coverage on these probes, Graham said he predicts Horowitz’s report will only get “10% of the coverage” that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report received. “And that’s a shame,” he said. Over the weekend, Graham said he expects Horowitz’s findings to be “damning and ugly” for the DOJ.
Graham also said the key question is not what did former President Barack Obama know and when he knew it, but rather who told him and what did he do when he was briefed. Determining the identity of this briefer, Graham said, will “unravel the riddle here.”
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website