Russia Investigation: Next Steps
With the Russia investigation officially closed (and no collusion found), Republicans are rightly calling for a closer look at how the whole thing got started.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Monday confirmed he would be investigating alleged FISA abuses by federal authorities at the beginning of the Russia probe.
He also called on Attorney General Bill Barr to appoint a special counsel to examine the “other side of the story” including the FBI and DOJ’s anti-Trump bias during the Hillary Clinton email probe and the Russia investigation.
First and foremost, Graham wants to know whether the email probe was cancelled in hopes Hillary would win the election and whether the Russia collusion investigation was launched as insurance in case Trump won.
“I’d like to find somebody – like a Mr. Mueller – that can look into what happened with the FISA warrants, the counterintelligence investigation,” said Graham during a press conference on Monday. “Mueller thoroughly investigated the Trump campaign. You cannot say that about the other side of the story.”
Graham has been calling for a special counsel since 2017 based on concerns that a “counterintelligence investigation was opened as a back door to spy on the Trump campaign.”
As he explained to reporters, “A counterintelligence investigation is designed to protect the entity being targeted by a foreign power…I still am at a loss as to why nobody went to President Trump to tell him.”
Graham’s upcoming investigation will focus on Christopher Steele’s anti-Trump dossier to determine final answers to questions like:
- How much did the Dems pay Fusion GPS to commission the dossier?
- Who is the person responsible for commissioning the dossier?
- Were FBI agents cooperating with the Clinton campaign, DNC, or White House in sabotaging Trump’s election?
“I’m going to get answers to this,” promised Graham. “If no one else cares, it seems that Republicans do. Because if the shoe were on the other foot, it would be front-page news all over the world. The double standard here has been striking and, quite frankly, disappointing.”
Republicans are also hoping to learn more about the origins of the Russia investigation from the results of two internal probes related to suspected FISA abuses by the FBI and DOJ.
DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz launched an investigation last March after having found evidence that FBI officials routinely leak information to the media in exchange for “improper gifts.” He also uncovered anti-Trump communications which raised questions about the agency’s integrity.
This week, Horowitz told reporters his probe was nearing completion.
The second investigation is being led by Utah Attorney John Huber, who was ordered last year by Jeff Sessions to examine surveillance abuses by the DOJ and FBI as well as federal authorities’ handling of the Clinton email probe. Republicans claim he has made little progress.
Both investigations hope to determine whether the FBI broke the law when it obtained a FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page based on information contained in an unverified document commissioned by Democrats.