Sen. Graham Vows He'll 'Get to the Bottom' of What Mueller Knew and When He Knew It

By Susan Jones | July 16, 2020 | 8:56am EDT
Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary Committee on July 24, 2019. (Photo by CHIP SOMODEVILLA/AFP via Getty Images)
Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary Committee on July 24, 2019. (Photo by CHIP SOMODEVILLA/AFP via Getty Images)

( - Sen. Lindsey Graham on Wednesday raised some of the key questions he wants to ask former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who's been called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Graham now chairs.

"Does he realize how off-the-rails the investigation got?" Graham asked during a podcast hosted on Wednesday by former Rep. Trey Gowdy, a fellow South Carolina Republican.

Graham raised several other questions:

I want to know, what was the factual predicate to believe that anybody on the Trump campaign was working for the Russians in the summer of 2016? And what I am dying to find out, is why did the system continue to use a document in April and June of 2017 to get a warrant against Carter Page when they were told in January 2017, by the man who prepared it, it's a bunch of garbage.

I want to know why they continued to surveil Flynn Jan. the fifth, when there were told on the January the 4th there's no reason to believe he's working for the Russians. I'm going to get to the bottom of this. I'm going to hold people accountable, and let the chips fall where they may.

Graham said he had no intention of calling Mueller to testify.

"He testified before the House; it was not pretty to watch. But at the end of the day, Trey, he decided to inject himself into the Roger Stone case."

Mueller wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post last Saturday, defending the legitimacy of his two-year investigation and insisting that Roger Stone was rightly convicted of obstruction, lying to Congress and witness tampering. President Trump had commuted Stone's sentence the day before the op-ed appeared.

Graham said if Mueller wanted to comment on the Stone aspect of his investigation, "I want him to comment about the Carter Page warrant application. I want him to comment on basically what did he have to suggest there was collusion between campaign operatives and the Russian government on August 17th, 2017, and start from there.

"He has a lot to account for, and we'll see how he does."

Graham said we now know that the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane investigation into the Trump campaign was "one of the most corrupt investigations" since the days of J. Edgar Hoover.

He noted that the report produced by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz' exposed a number of troubling problems with the FBI's investigation; and even the FISA court rebuked the FBI over its warrant targeting Carter Page.

And what I want to know from Mr. Mueller is, what evidence did you have that Carter Page was a Russian agent, colluding with the Russian government as part of the campaign of Donald Trump? Papadopoulos -- just go down the list.

January the 4th, 2017. The FBI agent in charge of the Crossfire Hurricane Flynn component recommended that General Flynn be dropped from the investigation. ...Jan. the 5th is when you have the now-famous meeting with Obama, Comey, Yates and others, but I would like to know from Mueller, what did you believe Flynn was doing with the Russians? And did you even know that the FBI recommended the case be dropped in January of 2017?

I believe that the dossier, which was the key component of getting the warrant against Carter Page, was in fact Russian disinformation. I believe the FBI was on notice that it was unreliable; continued to use it anyway; I believe that they misled the FISA court.

And here's the key question: From January 21st to the 24th, the Russian subsource -- the guy who provided all the material for the dossier -- is interviewed by the FBI for 3 days. He's interviewed again in March.

There's a memo about that interview. Horowitz found it. It was 40 pages. My staff has finally got to look at it. It's classified. I'm going to try to get it unclassified. The Horowitz report suggests that the result of the Russian subsource interview could break down into the reliability of the dossier in terms of being able to get a warrant.

Here's the question: Is it possible that an interview of that magnitude, that basically shredded the key document to get a warrant -- that the people at the top, McCabe and Comey, were never told, 'Oh by the way, our entire case has collapsed.' I'm looking at that.

In January of 2017, they should have stopped the investigation of Carter Page and did a complete scrub of whether or not they had it right.

No date has been set for Mueller's anticipated testimony.

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