During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz on Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — who has been a steadfast defender of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) for his entire time in the U.S. Senate — slammed the court.
Graham said, “What has been described as a few irregularities becomes a massive criminal conspiracy over time to defraud the FISA court, to illegally surveil an American citizen, and to keep an operation open against a sitting president of the United States, violating every norm known to the rule of law.”
Graham was just getting started, as his entire opening remarks were blistering.
“So the Trump presidency will end [in] a year or five years, I don’t know when. I hope he gets re-elected,” Graham said.
“But we can’t write this off as being just about one man or one event. We’ve got to understand how off the rails the system got. I’ll leave with some optimism here.”
“I think Democrats and Republicans are willing to make sure this never happens again,” Graham continued.
“If you open up a counterintelligence investigation on a presidential campaign in the future, there needs to be more checks and balances.”
“I want you to audit the FISA process,” Graham insisted.
Sen. Graham continued his fiery remarks — none of which CNN bothered to air.
“[Sen.] Mike Lee [of Utah] and Sen. [Patrick] Leahy [of Vermont] are probably the standard-bearers for civil liberties — [Sen. Ted] Cruz [of Texas], a lot of people, we all care,” Graham said.
“But these are the two that constantly want to make sure that somebody’s watching those who watch us. They’re worried about metadata.”
‘If the court doesn’t take corrective action … you’ll lose my support.’ “While I may not agree with all your concerns or all of your solutions, I respect the fact that you care,” Graham went on.
“I hope you won’t treat this report as finding a lawful investigation with a few irregularities.”
“I’m a pretty hawkish guy,” Graham noted. “But if the court doesn’t take corrective action and do something about being manipulated and lied to, you’ll lose my support.”
Graham didn’t stop there.
It's "No news is Fake News." time:
The Committee Chairs opening statement that CNN did not show. https://t.co/T7R05L7hPI
— Gary MacGrumbley (@Pagarymac) December 11, 2019
“I know a lot about what’s going on out there to hurt us,” Graham warned. “And they’re real threats and they’re real agents and they’re really bad actors out there. I’d hate to lose the ability of the FISA court to operate at a time probably when we need it the most.”
Graham finished, “But after your report, I have serious concerns about whether the FISA court can continue unless there’s fundamental reform … The system and the hands in a few bad people can do a lot of damage. Thank you very much.”
It was a powerful message from the senator.
So why didn’t CNN air Lindsey Graham’s remarks?
Oh, that’s right — because it had nothing to do with bringing down President Donald Trump.
This piece originally appeared in The Political Insider and is used by permission.
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