September 4, 2019

Sen. Lindsey Graham visited Fox News Monday morning where he vowed a Benghazi-like investigation into the Russia investigation while pretending there’s nothing to look at with regard to Donald Trump’s very disturbing behavior toward Russia.

The pretext for this latest chapter in Right-Wing Collusion Cover-Up is a letter Graham wrote to the inspector general asking that the FISA warrant applications to monitor Carter Page be declassified as much as possible.

Collusion Cover-Up operatives have repeatedly and falsely portrayed the FISA warrant as some kind of deep-state conspiracy to spy on Donald Trump via Page, a former adviser to the 2016 Trump campaign.

Not surprisingly, Graham used last week's IG report that slammed former FBI Director James Comey as fodder. As I explained in an earlier post, Comey was harshly criticized by the IG for breaking rules about document handling while giving no regard to the fact that Comey handled the documents the way he did because he was worried about Donald Trump’s efforts to subvert the FBI and the investigation into Russia’s interference in the U.S. election. Comey leaked no classified information and the only confidential information he disclosed were six words in two memos to his attorneys after Trump fired him.

Graham, too, ignored Comey's concerns as well as the mountain of collusion and corruption evidence against Trump with regard to Russia in plain sight.

Instead, Graham channeled former colleague (and current Fox News contributor) Trey Gowdy – a zealot who spent millions of taxpayer dollars futilely trying to frame Hillary Clinton for a tragedy in Benghazi, Libya.

Graham exaggerated Comey’s minor infraction. “He basically was accused of manipulating the system, ignoring rules and procedures that are in place regarding memos owned by the government to get an outcome,” Graham said.”The outcome Comey wanted was a special counsel."

In failing to spend even a moment explaining why Comey wanted a special counsel, Graham left the impression that it was for nefarious reasons. Yet, host Sandra Smith didn’t correct that false impression.

So Graham continued by dishonestly suggesting that everything Comey did in the Russia investigation is likely tainted.

GRAHAM: The question is, did [Comey] do the same thing to the FISA court? Did they take the law in their own hands? Did they give to the court a document that was unverified? Did they swear under oath falsely that this was an accurate document justifying a warrant? I’m dying to hear about that because the rules and procedures regarding the leaked information is damning but the manipulating of a court process is illegal.

Let’s just put it this way: If they manipulated the FISA court’s system and nobody gets prosecuted, what would deter people in the future doing the same thing? My goal is to make sure people never do this again, declassify as much as possible so the public can see what Horowitz was looking at. And this is not revenge, this is just accountability.

This is a load of bull Graham just unleashed on viewers. The facts are that the FISA warrant against Page – which was granted and renewed by Republican-appointed judges – was based on substantive evidence against him.

For one thing, The New York Times noted that Page had been on the FBI radar screen three years before he became an adviser to the Trump campaign. That was also before Trump was a candidate. The Washington Post has more:

Among other things, the application cited contacts that [Page] had with a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in 2013, officials said. Those contacts had earlier surfaced in a federal espionage case brought by the Justice Department against the intelligence operative and two other Russian agents. In addition, the application said Page had other contacts with Russian operatives that have not been publicly disclosed, officials said.

Furthermore, the Times showed the FBI was up front and candid with the court about the Steele dossier, the supposedly unverified document referred to by Graham:

[T]he application shows that the F.B.I. acknowledged to the court that it believed that the person who hired Mr. Steele was looking for information to discredit Mr. Trump’s campaign, later emphasizing that regardless of Mr. Steele’s reason for conducting research into Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia, it believed his reporting about Mr. Page was credible.

It’s hard to believe Graham doesn’t know all this. Yet, he had the nerve to declare at the end, “Accountability and transparency is my goal and I am sure criminality is going to be looked at very hard.”

Smith never challenged a word.

Coincidentally, Graham is facing a potentially tough re-election campaign next year. You can contact #LeningradLindsey at (202) 224-5972 or @LindseyGrahamSC. Or, better yet, you can donate to his opponent, Jaime Harrison.

Meanwhile, watch him try to dupe and distract viewers away from Trump’s behavior with Russia below, from the September 2, 2019 America’s Newsroom. Then ask yourself, why isn't Graham working to stop Russia from interfering again rather than trying to discredit the investigation that found the country is still at it?

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