What Chairman Graham Learned in Wednesday's Rosenstein Hearing

Posted: Jun 04, 2020 4:00 PM
What Chairman Graham Learned in Wednesday's Rosenstein Hearing

Source: Greg Nash/Pool via AP

Democrats complained throughout Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel in the Russian collusion probe, was brought to Capitol Hill for a grilling about Crossfire Hurricane. But, since years of investigations into President Trump's alleged collusion with the Kremlin came to nothing, Democrats are now bored with the topic. And they told Chairman Lindsey Graham every chance they got. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), for instance, said it's "absurd" for the panel to be having this hearing and not focusing instead on racial justice in the wake of George Floyd's police death.

Rosenstein admitted during Wednesday's hearing that he did not do an independent into Mueller before appointing him. And as for that FISA warrant he approved for the FBI to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, he *maybe* didn't read the whole application.

As the hearing was nearing its end, Democrat panelist Richard Blumenthal had one more question before Chairman Graham wrapped up the session.

"Have there been any additional facts today, that were not in the IG's report?" Sen. Blumenthal wondered.

Sen. Graham was glad he asked. The chairman explained that he learned more about the background of the August 2017 memo, written by Rosenstein, that detailed the scope of the investigation.

"What I learned is that the August memo, his team consulted with the Mueller team but the information in the August memo came from the Mueller people," Sen. Graham replied. "I didn't know that."

Rosenstein chimed in to note that while it's true those were "Mueller people," they were folks that the special counsel had inherited. Biased folks like Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) presented an entertaining retelling of some of the anti-Trump texts exchanged between the two before they were fired from the investigation.

Earlier in the hearing, Sen. Graham went full Lindsey 2.0 mode and explained that if the political shoe was on the other foot, we'd never be hearing the end of how the FBI spied on a Democratic campaign with a faulty FISA warrant.

"If a bunch of garbage that was used to get a warrant against a Clinton campaign operative, you'd have a little different view of this," Sen. Graham said, his voice rising as he continued. "You would be raising be holy hell. And all your friends in the media would be front-page news everywhere. Treason! But it's Trump. It's okay. As long as you're out to get somebody you need to get, damn the way you do it."