Today’s Campaign Update (Because the Campaign Never Ends)
Appearing with Judge Jeanine Pirro on Fox News, Senator Lindsey Graham gave us another dose of big talk Saturday. The Senator who has done a lot of talking and accomplished pretty much nothing in terms of investigating anything for an entire year as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee was once again spouting off on investigating pretty much everybody. At one point in the clip below, you will hear him even promise Pirro’s audience that “half the people involved in the Russia investigation” will end up in jail.
Here’s the thing about this: He’s running out of time. Senate investigations take a lot of time. It can and often does take weeks or even months to get a single witness’s testimony, especially given the willingness of Obama judges on the federal courts to intervene in congressional processes these days. But Graham makes it sound as if he has a grand plan for finally, at long last taking some action in this regard now that the impeachment scam has been disposed of.
Below is a 7:23 clip of the interview, much of which is irrelevant to the subject of this piece. A transcription of several of the key passages follows the clip.
Pirro: What’s left for Mitt Romney?
Graham: Well, number one, I’m not going to say anything bad about Mitt Romney. I’ve known him for a long time and I think he made a very bad judgment call. I’m not going to question his faith. But let’s see if you and I can figure this out in about two minutes.
Who was behind it [impeachment]? Schiff, Nadler, Pelosi. Not Mueller, not Watergate prosecutors, not Ken Starr. The 3 most partisan people in the country, who hate Trump’s guts. How did they do it? They impeached the man in 78 days. He couldn’t call a witness; he couldn’t cross-examine anybody; he couldn’t present evidence….[summary of the impeachment scam continues here] this was a bad decision for anybody to vote guilty on these facts.
Pirro: What do they do now? Do they move on?
Graham: I don’t think they can move on, because they’ve got nothing to move on to…
Pirro: Let’s switch it to you guys. Can we expect that you, or Burr as Chairman of Senate Intelligence, may want to look at the whistleblower…the Bidens…James Rich, Chair of Foreign Relations, doesn’t seem to have an appetite. He says “I’ve got other things I’m doing now and I haven’t given it any thought.” Haven’t given it any thought??? America’s been talking about this for 3 months!
Graham: So, we’re not gonna live in a world where, as a Republican, you get investigated from the day you’re sworn in; 3 years later, they’re still coming after you.
Here’s what amazes me. The Russia investigation, what happened? Half the people involved in the Russia investigation are gonna go to jail, and Trump was cleared…
Graham: Well, just hang tight. They come after Trump on Ukraine, and Biden blows up. So, every time they throw a rock at Trump, they get hit.
So, here’s what we should look at: Why did the State Department not act when they were told about the conflict of interest with Hunter Biden regarding Ukraine, right? Who is the whistleblower? Does he have contacts on Schiff’s staff? Did Col. Vindman lead information to the whistleblower? And as to the FISA warrant, how could you sign the warrant four times and not know the thing was off the rails? That’s where I come in.
Pirro: So, you’re going to do something. You want to tell us what you’re going to do?
Graham: Yeah, I’m going to give a list of witnesses to the Department of Justice that I want to call. It’s going to the case agent. I want to find out how this thing got so screwed up. Why didn’t they tell about the Russian source who said the Dossier’s not reliable? How could it be possible that it never goes up to the top?
I want to know what Obama knew about this investigation. I want to call Rosenstein, Sally Yates, Comey, McCabe, and all the people who worked on this case, to find out how it got so off the rails and make sure it never happens again. I want to know who in the White House knew about this counterintelligence investigation against the Republican nominee.
Pirro: [Immediately changes the subject to Joe Manchin’s vote to convict the President. It’s Joe freaking Manchin – who cares?]
Graham: …The reason I’m so upset about this impeachment is it puts every president after Trump at risk. You can’t even pick the phone up as president under this standard.
Pirro: [Changes the subject to Afghanistan.]
So, several things to unpack here:
- As is always the case with Senator Graham, what we have here is a mixed bag. Graham continues to promise to perform investigations, which is great if he starts following through with some real action starting now. Not in April, not in June, not in August because by then it will be too late. Now, Senator.
- It is encouraging that Graham pointedly lists the whistleblower – who we all know is Eric Ciaramella – Adam Schiff’s staff and Alexander Vindman as subjects he plans to pursue with his committee. Yes, Hunter and Joe Biden are important here, but they weren’t part of this coup effort in any real sense. Ciaramella, Vindman and the bad actors on Schiff’s staff – along with Schiff himself, obviously – were a part of it.
- And how patently absurd is it that U.S. senators are still going on national TV and saying “the whistleblower” when everyone in the room and watching at home knows who the freaking whistleblower really is? This is national insanity. Ciaramella participated in a COUP D’ETAT, folks, and that is treason.
- But look at Graham giving himself a convenient out on all of this, when he says he’s going to send a list of potential witnesses to the “case agent” for approval. That “case agent” is a guy named John Durham.
- If Durham is really performing an actual investigation – and I believe he is – then that’s great. Let him determine whether the Senate taking public testimony will interfere with anything he’s doing. But if, as others suspect, Durham and Barr are just playing a delaying game in concert with Graham and other to put this all off until the November elections have come and gone, then not so great, right?
- When Graham tells Pirro to “just hang tight” on people going to jail, that is an obvious reference to Durham. If you, like me, believe that Durham is actually conducting an investigation designed to prosecute people, then that might be a signal from Graham that he’s been told things are about to start happening on that front.
When you boil this all down, unless Graham really is planning to start an investigation posthaste, then it’s really hard to see why he would keep going on television to talk a good game. Coming as this appearance does this close to election time, his constituents back home are really going to have some pointed questions for him if, come September, he still hasn’t moved on any of this.
It does make sense that Graham and the other Senate committees would let the whole impeachment scam play itself out before opening their own investigations. It also makes sense that Durham would wait until those waters had calmed before moving on any indictments and prosecutions. Timing is very important in all of this.
Here’s the other thing: Durham is going after real justice for real bad actors. Scams like this fake impeachment can be mounted and play out quickly, but real justice in our system takes time. It’s like the difference between a bottle of Welch’s grape juice and a bottle of 2012 Cade Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.
In a just world, Attorney General William Barr would announce the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate the origins of the impeachment coup d’etat, just as he has Durham investigating the origins of the whole Russia Collusion coup effort. Lacking that, we are left with only Republican-controlled Senate committees to do the investigative work, which will certainly end with a series of criminal referrals. Ultimately, either process will require DOJ to act.
Here’s the key statement Graham made in this entire interview: “So, we’re not gonna live in a world where, as a Republican, you get investigated from the day you’re sworn in; 3 years later, they’re still coming after you.”
Unless Durham is really conducting an earnest investigation that truly will end with a bunch of these people going to jail, and unless Graham and Burr and Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley really do mount major investigations into the origins of the impeachment scam through their committees, that is exactly the world we are going to be living in from now on.
It is crucial to remember that all of this takes place with the November elections looming and the GOP holding onto a tenuous Senate majority. Should the voters decide to award the corrupt Democrats a majority in the Senate, then the hopes of ever bringing any of the coup plotters to justice will end, unless they have already been indicted.
Talk is cheap, gentlemen. Time to move.
That is all.
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