Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Wednesday in no uncertain terms that there should be a special counsel to investigate Republican claims that there was inappropriate surveillance of a Trump campaign aide. Graham said that the Justice Department and FBI “got off the rails” when they approved the warrant.
“I can’t believe that we’re not going to have a special counsel in these circumstances. The Department of Justice and the FBI got off the rails. They can’t investigate themselves,” Graham said in a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt. “If there was ever a moment for a special counsel, it is now.”
Hewitt commented on the two House GOP chairmen who sent a letter on Tuesday to the DOJ asking for another special counsel. He reiterated that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant for Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was improperly approved based on unverified opposition research.
The DOJ currently has their own inspector general investigating the FISA warrant approval, but Graham explained that the Justice Department doesn’t have the “institutional power” for a wide-ranging investigation outside the department.
Hewitt asked Graham why Attorney General Jeff Sessions doesn’t do the “obvious thing” and appoint a special counsel. Graham responded that the top official would probably need to recuse himself, much like Sessions did with the Russia probe, and that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should appoint the special counsel instead.
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee published a memo last month that cited concerns over the evidence used to approve a FISA warrant. The issue is rooted in a dossier of opposition research on Trump written by a former British intelligence officer and paid for, in part, by the Democratic National Committee.
Democrats defend the warrant by saying there was a large amount of evidence used in the decision to monitor Page. But GOP lawmakers say the memo proves the FBI and DOJ were attempting to undermine President Trump.
“The dossier is totally unverified, and he had a political agenda. This is a dangerous precedent to set,” Graham said.
Do you agree with Sen. Graham? Should Rosenstein appoint another special counsel?
Credit: The Hill