Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is preparing to seek authorization from the Committee to issue subpoenas in regard to the counterintelligence investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential election, known by its code name Crossfire Hurricane.
As Chairman, Graham doesn’t have the power to unilaterally subpoena witnesses. In order to do so, he would need the consent of the ranking minority member or a vote of approval from the majority of the committee. In this case, the ranking minority member is Senator Dianne Feinstein from California and she is unlikely to give such approval. This means Graham will take the issue to the committee as a whole which will likely vote along party lines to grant his request.
These actions were prompted, in part, by the Justice Department Inspector General’s report. This report cites numerous instances of missteps, corner-cutting, and abuses by the individuals involved in the investigation.
Additionally, recent developments in the case against General Michael Flynn play a role in Graham’s upcoming request. These developments include the release of Documents showing a determination on the part of Obama administration officials to “unmask” the former General who was working with the incoming administration of President Trump at the time.
Although Flynn initially entered a guilty plea that he lied to the FBI, he would later seek to withdraw this plea and the Justice Department would seek to drop all charges against him.
This list of potential targets that Graham could subpoena is extensive and includes officials from both the Obama and Trump administration. Some of the names are: Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and even Current FBI Director Christopher Wray.
With this authorization, Graham will likely seek testimony, documents, and contacts from these people as well as others.
There have been many calls over many months from those on the right for the Judiciary Committee to take action. Perhaps the loudest of these calls has come from the President himself who has long called the investigations against him a “hoax” and a “witch hunt.” President Trump has even included his predecessor, President Obama, in this list of names he would like to see subpoenaed. This, however, seems unlikely as Senator Graham has resisted such calls with the warning that the President should be careful what he wishes for.
Many of the most stalwart Trump supporters have accused Graham and fellow congressional Republicans of having a bark worse than their bite. These accusations are easy to find on Twitter where many have correctly pointed out the numerous times in the past that Graham or another Republican has claimed that they would investigate something or get to the bottom of something and then never followed through with action. Some of these Twitter personalities include actor James Woods (whose account is frequently banned by Twitter) and an account known as [email protected] who has more than 200,000 followers.
Assuming Graham follows through on aggressive investigations, it will likely satiate such critics for the time being. However, unless arrests are made and trials are held, such satisfaction isn’t likely to last for the ardent Trump supporters who have long maintained that crimes were committed by those in the “deep state.” Remember the calls to “lock her up” in reference to Hillary Clinton from the campaign nearly four years ago. Such calls can still be heard today when her name is mentioned. Additionally, they point out a seeming double standard, alleging that those on the left of the political spectrum get away with much that those on the right would not.
Whatever the outcome is, any lingering questions need to be answered, not only for the “lock her up” crowd, but also for the rest of us who would like to see these matters finally put to rest, however that may be.