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Sen. Lindsey Graham: 'Right Now I See No Need For A Special Prosecutor'

Don't expect any profiles in courage from the Republican side of the aisle when it comes to holding this president accountable for anything he does.
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Don't expect any profiles in courage from the Republican side of the aisle when it comes to holding this president accountable for anything he does. As long as Trump is still popular with his base and the liars spewing propaganda over on Fox News Republican Pravda, not a one of them is going to cross him, much less make movement towards impeaching him. Imagine what they'd already be doing if Clinton had done one iota of things we've seen from the Trump administration both before and since he took office.

Sen. Lindsey Graham appeared on this Sunday's Meet the Press, and told host Chuck Todd that he believes he and his fellow partisans on the Congress are perfectly capable of conducting these investigations, and gave him a barrel of lame excuses for the double standard between the way they handled their drummed up fake "scandals" involving the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton.

Apparently Graham has been getting some late night calls from Trump, who, as most of us recall, gave out his cell phone number to a live audience during the primaries. Todd didn't ask him if those calls had anything to do with Graham being willing to give him cover on his law breaking and countless impeachable offenses he's committed and violations of the emoluments clause he's committed since taking office.

Here's more on that from The Washington Examiner: Lindsey Graham: Trump 'calls me when I'm asleep':

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., praised President Trump on Saturday as a leader who is "open-minded" and willing to reach out for help, even late at night. ...

He blasted former President Barack Obama as a "community organizer who apologized for America every turn all over the world."

"Let me tell you that you have a commander in chief that's not going to let this country get walked over anymore," he said.

Graham also joked about the president's sleeping habits.

"He calls and I'm honored that he would call me and I want to help him," he said. "He calls me when I'm asleep and he calls me after I go to bed. I wish he would rest more. I gave him my phone number. So far so good."


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Transcript of the clip above via NBC News:

CHUCK TODD: Let me ask you something about the Russian interference. Later in the show, I have an interview with the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. I conducted it yesterday. And he would not give an explanation as to why the issue of Russian interference wasn't even brought up during his meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov. We go back and forth. And not once--

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Right, right.

CHUCK TODD: --was it thought of as a top priority. Can we move on in a relationship with Russia if we don't confront them on this?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Absolutely not. I don't know if they privately talked about it. But Secretary Tillerson did a masterful job in the U.N. Security Council, talking about the threat of North Korea. I understand wanting to engage the Russians and Syria because they're part of the solution if we ever find one.

But here's what I believe. I'm 1,000% certain that the Russians interfered in our election. It was the Russian Intelligence Service that hacked into Podesta's e-mail, the DNC, to create chaos. They did try to undercut Clinton. I don't think they change the outcome. And I do not believe we could go forward as a nation until we punish Russia.

I have bipartisan sanctions against Russia for interfering in our election. And my goal is to put it on the President's desk. And I hope he would embrace it. Russia didn't change the outcome of the election, but they sure as hell tried. And I want to punish the Russians. And I hope the president will see their interference as a threat to our democracy.

CHUCK TODD: I want to talk about the investigation. Word just out of the field, NBC News Wall Street Journal poll, I've got to put up this number here. I'll read it to you. I know you don't have a screen. Who should investigate Russian interference? Only 15% think it should be you folks in Congress, Senator. 78%, so that means it's a bipartisan group of people, would like to see an independent commission or a special prosecutor. Do you understand why the public doesn't trust, now, the politicians to do this?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Yeah. But here's what I think about the investigation. Right now, it is a counterintelligence investigation, not a criminal investigation. So you don't need a special prosecutor. I trust Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein to do this. If he gets to the point that he can't do it and it becomes a criminal investigation, we'll have a special prosecutor, An independent commission takes it outside of Congress.

I think the Intel Committee, the Judiciary Committee, we're doing a good job. So I want to keep it inside the Congress. I'd like a select committee where we all work together. But right now I see no need for a special prosecutor. It's not a criminal investigation.

CHUCK TODD: But--

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: I see no need--

CHUCK TODD: Sorry.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: --for an independent commission yet.

CHUCK TODD: All right. Well, you, though, have called for a special counsel a number of times during the Obama years--

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: No.

CHUCK TODD: --for the Clinton e-mails.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Oh yeah, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, yes.

CHUCK TODD: Yes. For the Department of Justice supposed--

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Yes.

CHUCK TODD: --targeting reports, leaks.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: That's true.

CHUCK TODD: White House leaks of investigation. The idea that Joe Sestak--

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Right.

CHUCK TODD: --may have gotten a job offer in exchange.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Right.

CHUCK TODD: My point is why did all of those meet the test for a special counsel but this one doesn't?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: This is a counterintelligence investigation. We're not investigating a crime yet. If it becomes a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign colluding with the Russians during the election and Mr. Rosenstein doesn't believe he can do the job, then we'll have a special counsel.

There's a process in place. I'm not worried about polling. I'm not worried about anything other than trying to get the right answer. The Russians did it. They need to be punished. Trump's not a target of an investigation yet. Leave this investigation alone. Congress is doing a good job, in my view. If it gets to the point we can't, then we'll take it outside of Congress.

CHUCK TODD: You have been looking at the President's finances. The president has made a big deal that he--

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Right.

CHUCK TODD: --sent you a certified letter from his accountant, which all that means is you signed for it and that's fine.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Right.

CHUCK TODD: But why does it ma-- in this case, shouldn't you want to see the tax returns from one of these LLCs that run a golf course? For instance, there's this report out there in North Carolina that the Trump National Golf Course may have been financed with Russian money. That's not going to be in the President's tax return, that's going to be in that LLC of Trump National in Charlotte that has that. Are you going to be able to get your hands on those records?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: I have yet to find any evidence of improper business dealings between the Trump organization and Russia regarding the election or anything else. However, if you can show me there is reason for that to-- there's a suspicion of that, then we need to get financial documents. I just can't--

CHUCK TODD: But have you seen those records?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: --ask for documents unless I have a reason. But the president should turn over his tax returns. He should do that. I don't have a reason to subpoena them. If I get that reason, I'll do it. But he should turn over his tax returns.

CHUCK TODD: Right.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: He should do that now.

CHUCK TODD: All tax returns, not just his personal but these LLCs? Because that’s where this could be. It's not going to be in his tax return, if there's anything there.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: If you can show me that we need to do that, I will do it. I can't say on television, based on your question, that's a good idea. But I'm open-minded to all things Russia. The bottom line is I think Russia tried to affect our election, undermine our democracy. I want them to pay a price. I have yet to find collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

There's a Washington Post story that Comey went to Burr to get more agents and more money. That's not true. There's a lot of things being said that are true or half-truths. Let the process work. I promise the people of South Carolina, the people of the United States, I do care about this. I've got nobody to punish and nobody to reward other than get to the facts.

If Graham and his cohorts in the Senate wanted those tax returns, they could force Trump to turn them over, but that's never going to happen while the GOP is in charge of both houses of Congress. We'll see subpoenas when and if the Democrats are running the committees, and not before.

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