Caitlin MacNeal – TPM:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Wednesday said that if there is truth to reports that aides for President Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials ahead of the election, Congress should form a special committee to carry out an investigation.
“If in fact there are campaign contacts between Trump officials and Russian intelligence officers that would be a very serious event and would justify the Senate forming a Select Committee to look at all things related to Russia,” Graham said in a statement. “The Russians have been trying to break the backbone of democracies all over the world, and clearly in my view, interfered in the 2016 election.”
Cautioning that he doesn’t “believe it is appropriate for Congress to act based on a newspaper article,” Graham said it’s nevertheless that body’s duty to “perform oversight regarding any potential campaign contacts between Trump officials and Russian intelligence officials.”
With respect, Senator Graham, we need a Select Committee right now. Mr. Trump’s credibility, as reflected in his job approval rating, is in tatters. The latest reporting indicates a possible path to findings of impeachable offenses.
Graham has the right idea. His last comment begs a question, though: if not for the investigative efforts of newspapers and their resulting articles, how would he know there had been any wrong-doing in the first place? The White House has done nothing but sow disinformation in the person of Kellyanne Conway and talk in circles in the person of Sean Spicer.
There is smoke all around. Two officials directly reporting to Trump have stepped down from their duties, and the US intelligence community has divulged evidence of Russian involvement in hacking the DNC and efforts to sway the 2016 US election in favor of Trump.
The senator from South Carolina, unless he has back-channel information from US or allied intelligence agencies, need take his news from “newspaper articles,” and openly demand a Select Committee now.
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