In the aftermath of the release of Robert Mueller’s report, Republican Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham announced that his committee would be investigating the investigators to get to the bottom of the origins of the false Trump/Russia narrative and allegations of FBI abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
However, in light of the revelation that Attorney General William Barr has enlisted a U.S. attorney from Connecticut to do much the same thing, Graham just announced that his committee would bow out and “back off” from the issue.
“A prosecutor, not a politician”
The Washington Examiner reported that Graham declared his decision to stand down on Tuesday while speaking with reporters on Capitol Hill.
“I’m glad you have a prosecutor, not a politician,” Graham told reporters with regard to Barr’s designation of Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham to investigate the origins of the Russia probe during the Obama administration.
“I don’t expect you to take my word about what happened with the FISA warrant. I’m a Republican and I want the president to do well,” Graham added.
He went on: “I don’t expect Republicans to take (Democratic House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry) Nadler’s word about anything, wrongdoing toward (President Donald) Trump.”
Graham standing down
“We finally have somebody outside of politics, and I want to give Mr. — Durham, is that his name? I don’t even know him — the space to do his job,” Graham said.
He added: “I’m a Republican judiciary chairman. You’ve now got a prosecutor, and I don’t want to get in their way. I don’t want to mess up his criminal investigation and I don’t want to put people at risk, so I’m gonna back off.”
Watch Graham’s comments below:
Graham has, for all intents and purposes, already quit his recently launched probe into alleged wrongdoing by the FBI and Department of Justice under former President Barack Obama with regard to Russian interference in the 2016 election and how that was tied to then-candidate-turned-President Trump.
It must be noted that he is not quitting because he thinks there is nothing there to find — far from it, actually. Graham is stepping aside to let career prosecutors take the lead instead of his own partisan political colleagues and staff.
This is a wise move by Graham that reduces the risk of his committee unnecessarily or prematurely exposing documents, events, or individuals that would be integral to any eventual criminal prosecution, and he should be commended for eschewing the spotlight in favor of stepping aside and letting professionals to do the job the situation warrants.