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Firing Mueller “Would Be The End” Of The Trump Presidency – Lindsey Graham

Emily Stewart
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is taking a hard line on the Russia investigation and the president’s seeming inability to stay out of it.On Sunday, Grham warned that Firing Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating the Russia scandal, would be the end of the Donald Trump presidency — adding that everyone surrounding the president knows it.

“It’s pretty clear to me that everybody in the White House knows it would be the end of President Trump’s presidency if he fired Mr. Mueller,” Graham told ABC’s Martha Raddatz in an appearance on This Week on Sunday.The remarks come amid revelations that Trump ordered Mueller’s firing last June, reported by the New York Times this week and subsequently confirmed by other outlets, including the Washington Post and CNN. Top White House lawyer Don McGahn threatened to quit instead of going through with the president’s order, which apparently stopped the president from going through with it. The report provides another example of President Trump’s attempts to interfere with ongoing investigations — a pattern of behavior that has put him under scrutiny for potential obstruction of justice.

US President Donald Trump              © Catalyst Images US President Donald Trump

Graham said he didn’t know whether the stories about Trump’s order to fire Mueller or McGahn’s threat to quit stopping him were true, despite them being confirmed by multiple reputable news outlets (and, oddly enough, by Sean Hannity), but said he believes Mueller should look into it. “We’re not just going to say it’s fake news and move on. Mueller is the best person to look at it,” he said. He clarified he sees no evidence Trump wants to fire Mueller now.

Graham was among a group of both Republican and Democratic senators last summer to introduce legislation seeking to block Trump from firing Mueller. He co-sponsored a bill with Democratic Senator Cory booker (D-NJ). A similar measure was introduced by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE) around the same time.

On Sunday, Graham said he’d be “glad to pass it tomorrow” but clarified that he thinks “it would be good to have legislation protecting all special counsels.” He also called for a special counsel to probe the Department of Justice and the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the early stages of the Russian investigation — seemingly toeing a line in an attempt not to anger the president or other Republicans.

US President Donald Trump                   © Catalyst Images US President Donald Trump

Many lawmakers remain lukewarm on Trump potentially firing Mueller

Graham largely stands alone in the GOP in the forcefulness of his rhetoric on the Russia investigation and his commitment to protecting Mueller.

In an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper on Sunday, Republican Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) said it “probably wouldn’t hurt” to pass one of the proposed bills to block the president from firing Mueller. Collins, widely considered one of the party’s most moderate lawmakers, said enshrining that protection in law isn’t a bad idea. “There are some constitutional issues with those bills, but it would certainly not hurt to put that extra safeguard in place, given the latest stories,” she said.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) disagreed, saying he still just can’t see why such legislation would be necessary. “I don’t think there’s a need for legislation right now to protect Mueller,” he said In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press. “So we’re raising an issue that’s not.”

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who is up for reelection in 2018 and is one of the party’s more moderate members, told NBC’s Todd on Sunday that Trump’s order to fire Mueller was probably just “New York talk” — sort of taking a line from Trump’s “locker room talk” excuse over the Access Hollywood tape. When pressed on the assertion by Todd, he went on to discuss Trump’s business record and explain that that’s probably why Trump thought it would be a good idea to cut Mueller. “You have a person who’s the president of the United States that has been totally in control of his life, personally and professionally,” he said. “Now all of a sudden he’s understanding there’s equal branches and there’s equal powers.” Manchin said if Trump fires Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the person who actually has the authority to fire Mueller, that’s when he’d start to worry.

Whether Trump firing Mueller would actually lead to any consequences is, at the very least, unclear — Republican lawmakers aren’t exactly chomping at the bit to really go after the president. Their latest comments on the matter aren’t exactly heartening. (Vox.com)

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FBI To Brief Graham, Whitehouse On Trump Wiretapping Warrant-Graham

Katie Bo Williams

FBI to brief Graham, Whitehouse on Trump warrants: Graham        © Provided by The Hill FBI to brief Graham, Whitehouse on Trump warrants: Graham  
The FBI has told Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) that it will brief them in response to their demand for any surveillance warrant applications for President Trump, Graham said Wednesday.

“We were informed by the FBI just a few minutes ago that they would be responding to our letter with a classified briefing to the chair and ranking member,” Graham said at the outset of a Senate hearing on Russian interference in elections worldwide.

He provided no specific date for the briefing. FBI Director James Comey is on the Hill Wednesday to brief the chairman and ranking member of the full Judiciary Committee, Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

Graham and Whitehouse, who head the subcommittee that has oversight over the FBI, last week sent a letter to Comey and acting deputy attorney general Dana Boente, asking for any warrant application or court documents tied to potential legal wiretapping of the Trump campaign, Trump or Trump Tower.

The resolution comes after Graham fired a warning shot to the FBI on Tuesday, telling reporters that the bureau was about to “screw up big time” if they didn’t respond to his letter.

Graham’s subcommittee is probing Russian influence in the U.S. election. The bureau headed the investigation into the hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and is reportedly probing connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Both lawmakers argued Wednesday that the bureau should make the investigation public.

“I just want to let the American people know that this subcommittee – we’re going to get an answer to whether or not the Trump campaign was surveilled. Was a warrant ever requested, was it issued?” Graham said.

“And I hope to be able to answer the question of is there an active investigation.”

The president earlier this month claimed that former President Barack Obama had “wiretapped” Trump Tower during the campaign.

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Trump tweeted.

In addition to Graham’s subcommittee, the Senate and House Intelligence committees are also probing Moscow’s meddling in the White House race and any potential contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Source: The Hill

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Senate Panel To Probe Trump’s Wiretap Claim |The Republican News

 

Jordain Carney
Grassley probes FBI's ties to British spy who investigated Trump         © Provided by The Hill Grassley probes FBI’s ties to British spy who investigated Trump  

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Monday that a panel he oversees will look into President Trump’s claim that the Obama administration wiretapped him.

“He’s challenged the Congress to look into this and I will, along with Sen. Whitehouse, look into whether or not there was any lawful warrant requested and received on the Trump campaign and whether or not there was any illegal activity regarding the Trump campaign,” Graham told reporters.

Graham and Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) are the top two members on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.

Trump appeared to catch lawmakers off guard over the weekend when he tweeted that his predecessor “had my ‘wires tapped.'”

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” he wrote.

GOP lawmakers have called on Trump to explain his tweets, which were offered without evidence to back up his claims.

Trump aides have also called on Congress to investigate if the Obama administration wiretapped the Trump campaign as part of a larger probe into Russia and the 2016 election.

Graham on Monday backed the push, saying that whether the wiretapping happened legally through a warrant approved by the foreign intelligence surveillance (FISA) court or illegally, it merits looking into.

“It would be earth-shattering if the former administration illegally wire tapped a campaign … If the FISA court issued a warrant that would be pretty stunning to because they’d have to have probable cause,” he said.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is separately conducting an investigation into allegations that Moscow meddled in the White House race to help Trump, including any contacts between his campaign and Russia.

Two sources told CNN that FBI director James Comey asked the Justice Department to shoot down Trump’s latest comments over the weekend.

Graham sidestepped weighing in on Comey’s alleged request, but noted that a forthcoming letter from himself and Whitehouse would include asking him to confirm or deny the report.

Source: The Hill

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Lindsey Graham: ‘I’m Very Worried’ About Trump’s Wiretapping Accusation

 

Mallory Shelbourne

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Saturday said he is “very worried” about President Trump’s accusation that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.”I’m very worried that our president is suggesting the former president has done something illegal,” Graham said at a town hall in Clemson, S.C.

“I’d be very worried if, in fact, the Obama administration was able to obtain a warrant lawfully about Trump campaign activity with foreign governments. It’s my job as United States senator to get to the bottom of this.”

Trump early Saturday wrote on Twitter that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower before the election, but did not provide any evidence.

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Trump said.

“Is it legal for a sitting President to be “wiretapping” a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by the court earlier. A NEW LOW!” the president added in another tweet. “I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!”

Graham also said that if Obama legally obtained a warrant, then it would be the biggest political scandal since Watergate during former President Richard Nixon’s administration.

“The other side of the story … If the former President of the United States was able to obtain a warrant lawfully to monitor Trump’s campaign for violating the law, that would be the biggest scandal since Watergate.”

Graham faced jeers at the town hall after he said he “mostly” agrees with President Trump’s agenda.           (The Hill)

 

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Trump Warns Senators ‘Looking To Start World War III’ |The Republican News

Cyra Master

Trump: Persecuted Christian refugees will get priority© Provided by The Hill Trump: Persecuted Christian refugees will get priority
President Donald Trump defended his executive order on immigration and refugee policy Sunday afternoon in two tweets, posted at around the same time the White House released a statement from the president.The statement stressed the importance of keeping the country safe and denied that the order amounts to a Muslim ban. But the tweets were a more direct response to criticism from Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), two outspoken Republicans.”The joint statement of former presidential candidates John McCain & Lindsey Graham is wrong – they are sadly weak on immigration,” Trump said.

“The two … Senators should focus their energies on ISIS, illegal immigration and border security instead of always looking to start World War III.”

The joint statement of former presidential candidates John McCain & Lindsey Graham is wrong – they are sadly weak on immigration. The two…

…Senators should focus their energies on ISIS, illegal immigration and border security instead of always looking to start World War III.

Earlier Sunday, in a joint statement, McCain and Graham said the executive order “sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country. That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security.”

Trump on Friday signed an executive order calling for a 90-day ban on nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries entering the United States. The order also includes a 120-day halt on admitting refugees and an indefinite pause on admitting refugees from Syria  (The Hill)

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