Lindsey Graham wants to subpoena Obama officials over origins of the Russia investigation, calls for a vote

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has kept both Obama and his former deputy Joe Biden out

                            Lindsey Graham wants to subpoena Obama officials over origins of the Russia investigation, calls for a vote
Senator Lindsey Graham and President Donald Trump (Getty Images)

Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee who recently shot down President Donald Trump’s suggestion of calling former president Barack Obama to testify before the Congress, has decided a broad subpoena will be voted on this summer of former Obama officials as part of his investigation into the origins of the Russia probe.

The subpoena seeks documents and testimony as Graham, a veteran senator from South Carolina, looks into the Crossfire Hurricane investigation that the president has called a "hoax" and the greatest crime in history. In a release, the committee has also included fired FBI director James Comey, who has testified both in the House and Senate during the Russia investigation. Among others who feature in the list are: former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, former CIA head John Brennan, and former National Security Agency chief James Clapper. 

Joe Biden also doesn't feature in Graham's plan

The release came after Graham refused to accommodate Trump’s invitation to him to call Obama to testify. Graham also excluded former vice president Joe Biden, who is likely to be Trump’s opponent in this year’s presidential election. Biden’s name was dragged in the episode as it was reported that he was one among those who wanted to "unmask" tainted former national security adviser Mark Flynn. Trump recently called both Obama and Biden "corrupt." 

Former president Barack Obama and vice president Joe Biden (Getty Images)

Graham felt against inviting Obama in connection to the Russia investigation case because he felt the idea was not practical because of "executive privilege." He also said that a healthy precedent won't be set by calling a former president. Trump, however, has not stopped his attack against Obama and even popularized the term ‘Obamagate’ although he did not explain the specifics when asked by a Washington Post reporter about it. He also called his predecessor "grossly incompetent" this weekend. On Monday, May 18, Trump tweeted: “The Obama Administration is turning out to be one of the most corrupt and incompetent in U.S. history. Remember, he and Sleepy Joe are the reasons I am in the White House!!!”

Graham to explore Steele Dossier

Graham also said that besides probing the origins of the Russia investigation, he will also look into "the receipt or analysis of reports prepared by Christopher Steele (commonly called the 'Steele dossier')" – a reference to the golden showers dossier of material on Trump that was put together by the former British intelligence officer. In March 2019, Graham said that he had told late Arizona senator John McCain to turn over the dossier to the FBI, pushing against Trump’s claim that McCain fueled the flames of Russia probe.  

The proposal would also allow Graham, one of Trump’s foe-turned-friends, to get documents or testimony from any of the names referenced in a report by the justice department inspector-general’s review of the FBI’s handling of a surveillance warrant which is attached to the probe, Politico reported. “That probe found corner-cutting, missteps and abuses by officials in the process used to surveil Carter Page, a former adviser to the Trump campaign,” the report said.

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