Citing “the good old days of J. Edgar Hoover,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., ripped the FBI investigation of President Donald Trump’s campaign as an eventual “criminal enterprise” where the bureau “made stuff up” and “mislead people.”
(This occurring under the direction of disgraced former FBI director James Comey.)
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee held a news conference on Tuesday in response to the release of the Department of Justice inspector general report, which claimed there was no bias against Trump while acknowledging there were “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the FISA warrant process — every one working against Trump’s favor.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz did do away with the myth that the FBI did not rely on the discredited Christopher Steele/Fusion GPS dossier to justify surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
“The point I want to make is, let’s assume for a moment it started out OK, it sure as hell didn’t end OK,” Graham said of the FBI’s investigation.
“While there may be reasonable differences about whether there was a lawful predicate, there will be no debate among reasonable-minded people, particularly lawyers, about how the system not only got off the rails but in my view became a criminal enterprise to defraud the FISA court, to deny American citizen Carter Page’s constitutional rights and to continue an operation against President Trump as president of the United States,” the GOP senator added.
Graham called the FBI’s investigation “fundamentally flawed and unlawful.”
“These are statements I don’t make lightly,” he said, “and these are statements based on the findings of the report.
President Trump went much further, telling reporters Monday that the “deep state” opposition inside the government to his presidency was an “attempted overthrow.”
“This was an overthrow of government,” the president said. “This was an attempted overthrow and a lot of people were in on it, and they got caught. They got caught red-handed.”
“They fabricated evidence and they lied to the courts and they did all sorts of things to have it go their way,” he added.
Citing evidence in the report, Graham said the Steele dossier was based on little more than “rumor, speculation, hearsay, and bar talk.”
“That should have been a red light for the Department of Justice and the FBI,” he said.
Yet, the FBI told the FISA court the sub-source was truthful and cooperative, Graham noted.
“That’s a lie,” he insisted. “The sub source said exactly the opposite.”
Graham said the person who lied to the court about the source needs to be identified and held accountable — which seldom happens in Washington, DC.
“From that point on, this whole endeavor became a criminal conspiracy to defraud the court,” he said. “To trample on the rights of an American citizen, Mr. Carter Page, and to continue an operation against the president of the United States, that I think was unwarranted.”
“If that doesn’t bother you, you hate Trump way too much,” Graham added. “That should bother every American.”
The IG report also showed that an FBI official “doctored” an email to hide that Page was a CIA source to paint him as a potential Russian asset, Graham said, identifying bureau lawyer Kevin Clinesmith.
In short, the DOJ and the FBI “continually lied to the court, misled the court [and] manufactured evidence,” he charged, adding that those who knew that the sub source had disavowed the reliability of the dossier “should be held liable for being involved in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the FISA Court.”
The problem being that in matters such as this, the powerful Judiciary chairman is all talk and no action.
“If I was Mr. Carter Page, I’d hire me a lawyer and I’d sue the hell out of the United States,” Graham said.
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