Fox News host Tucker Carlson sounded off on Sen. Lindsey Graham and his “total inaction” on investigations into the origins of the Russia investigation.
Carlson questioned the South Carolina Republican’s lack of follow-through after he vowed to get answers as Senate Judiciary Committee chair, wondering on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” if Graham was an intentional “slow-walk” of any probes due to his “disagreement” with President Trump on recent foreign policy decisions.
(Video: Fox News)
Beginning with a video clip of Graham promising to “get answers,” Carlson highlighted how the senator has failed to deliver.
“We’re going to call them all before the committee,” Graham said in a video clip. “Did they try to involve the 25th amendment to take the president down? Did they get a warrant against an American citizen using information that they know was flawed? Did they taint the Clinton email investigation because they are afraid that if they indicted her she would lose the election and they wanted her to win? You’re going to get answers to that to the best I can give them to you.”
But, as Carlson noted, nothing of the sort has transpired.
“That’s a general promise, but Graham got more specific,” he said. “He said he would find the truth with a series of actions. He would probe whether or not top DOD officials plotted a bureaucratic coup. He said he would subpoena Andrew McCabe as well as Rod Rosenstein if necessary. So far, Graham’s tenure has been defined by total inaction.”
He pointed out that neither McCabe nor Rosenstein have been subpoenaed, no investigations have been launched and “now his inaction extends to the Ukraine saga as well.”
Sen. Rand Paul joined the Fox News host to weigh in and discuss why Graham has not put actions behind his promises.
“Not just any senator can do this,” the Kentucky Republican said. “So I can’t call committee hearing and drag these people in. Senator Graham has the power. He is the chairman of a powerful committee, the Judiciary Committee. Yes, I’ve encouraged him publicly and privately to do this.”
Paul gave the example of former CIA Director John Brennan and how he would like to see him questioned.
“I would ask him very pointedly, ‘did you talk to the British intelligence agencies and did you set up spying by foreign intelligence agencies on the president or the president’s campaign?’ Because I think he did and I think that’s against the law,” he told Carlson.
“So everything the Democrats have accused President Trump of doing – you know, investigating a political rival with a foreign country – all of those same questions should be asked of the Democrats,” he added. “Do they do that to Trump?”
“Lindsey Graham is at the center of this. You want to give him the benefit of the doubt,” Carlson said, “but the question remains why hasn’t he done this? It’s within his power to do it and he hasn’t done it. What’s the answer? Why?”
“I think he does want to get to the bottom of this,” Paul said, adding that he would take a “wait and see” approach. “But you’re right, he needs to go ahead and exercise his power.”
“Some people, and I’m not going to say Senator Graham, but there other Republican senators up here whose allegiance is more to the deep state than it is to the president,” he said. “I do think that Senator Graham does like the president and wants to get to the bottom of this, but a lot of us want to see it get started.”
Carlson agreed, but said he saw a “pattern” in Graham’s claims that “I’m fighting for you,” but then not taking any action. Paul concurred, saying Graham “needs to use his clout” and that he has the authority and likely the backing of other lawmakers.
“A simple majority can vote to do anything in the Judiciary Committee. I think every one of those members will vote with him to have hearings. I think there should be very high-profile hearings on this. There’s a lot to investigate,” the senator said.
Carlson speculated on whether Graham’s inaction was being orchestrated as a form of protest by the lawmaker who once was a vocal critic of the president.
“I’m wondering if this has something to do with another issue unrelated directly to these issues, which is foreign policy,” he said. “Senator Graham, as you know, is really probably the most aggressive neocon in the Senate. He has butted heads with the president over this. They’re currently arguing about Syria. I wonder if his disagreement with Trump on foreign policy questions has caused him to slow-walk some of these investigations.”
Paul looked to the “deep state” and the possibility that Graham may want the intelligence community to “maintain” power.
“There is an establishment both in foreign policy and also in the intelligence community. The intelligence community truly is the deep state,” Paul replied.
“The deep state has an enormous amount of power to look at individuals, and so when Senator Graham and I have fought these fights in the past, I have always fought for having warrants where a real judge in public has to — you have to present probable cause,” he explained.
“Lindsey has always fought for allowing these to be done secretly – these FISA warrants, and then allowing Americans to be caught up in these,” he added. “There may be a concern that if we look at the intelligence state, the deep state, that as we find out things, that some of their power may diminish, and so there might be a philosophical difference that he wants them to maintain their power and the intelligence community’s enormous grip on things.”
Carlson concluded that, if this is the case, Graham’s constituents in South Carolina likely disagree with their senator.
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