As expected, Donald Trump is no longer letting Sen. Lindsey Graham drag his feet on subpoenas of former Obama administration officials, and it looks like the Justice Department is on board for months of hearings and investigations heading into November.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham is preparing to ask his colleagues on the panel for blanket permission to subpoena dozens of Obama and Trump administration officials connected to the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election — and contacts between President Donald Trump's team and Russians.
His proposal would permit the South Carolina Republican to demand testimony and documents from figures involved in the intelligence associated with the launch of the Russia investigation, including Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former national intelligence director James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former FBI Director James Comey.
But it also stretches into the Trump era, with authorization to subpoena current and former figures involved in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller — including former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and current FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Graham intends to seek a Judiciary Committee vote on the matter on June 4. The proposal would allow Graham to obtain documents or testimony from any figures referenced in a report by the Justice Department Inspector General's review of the FBI's handling of a surveillance warrant connected to that investigation. 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 subpoena is unusually broad — committee subpoenas are usually specific to a smaller number of targets. But its approval, which will likely fall along party lines, would give Graham enormous, unilateral authority to conduct the probe.
Looks like everyone's going to be called in the very near future, in conjunction with the Barr Justice Department's show trial investigations, complete with "well unlike Mueller, we'll be fair and balanced" nonsense.
Attorney General William Barr on Monday said Barack Obama and Joe Biden are unlikely to be under criminal investigation in a review of the Russia probe that began in 2016 -- addressing simmering accusations by President Donald Trump against his predecessor and his 2020 opponent.
Barr said he was attempting to curtail the politicization of Justice Department investigations, yet his comments could fan speculation from right-wing commentators.
"Whatever their level of involvement based on the level of information I have today, I don't expect Mr. Durham's work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man," Barr said Monday at a press conference, referring to the US Attorney John Durham's ongoing review of the early Russia investigation, which ultimately led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to examine election interference and coordination with the Trump campaign.
"Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others," Barr added.
CNN previously reported that Durham's focus appears to be on decisions made by top officials overseeing the intelligence analysis of Russian election interference efforts in 2016, and particularly the leadership of then-CIA director John Brennan and then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, according to more than a half dozen people familiar with the investigation.
Durham is also investigating the actions of a lower-level FBI attorney who included incorrect information in a surveillance application in 2016. Additionally, the Durham review has also included looking at the information the intelligence community had to back up an FBI court application to wiretap former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Barr on Monday also criticized, broadly, using criminal investigations as "a political weapon."
"This is not good for our political life and it's not good for the criminal justice system," he said. "As long as I'm attorney general, the criminal justice system will not be used for partisan political ends. This is especially true for the upcoming elections in November."
Sure Barr won't interfere heading into elections. He has at least three months to go before the election heats up after Labor Day, and he'll continue interfering as long as he can get away with it.
Attorney General William P. Barr has installed a new top deputy at the federal prosecutor’s office in Washington, raising concerns that a key U.S. attorney’s office handling multiple investigations that are of interest to President Trump is becoming further politicized.
The arrival of Associate Deputy Attorney General Michael R. Sherwin — who won the conviction of a Chinese trespasser at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida in September — has triggered new accusations that Justice Department leaders are bypassing career prosecutors in the office and intervening in cases favoring the president’s allies, current and former federal prosecutors in the office said.
Barr’s actions in cases handed off by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia probe and “packing” senior supervisory positions with close associates “seriously undermines the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C.’s . . . long-standing reputation for independence from political influence,” said Charles R. Work, a former office prosecutor, Republican Justice Department political appointee and president of the D.C. Bar.
“This represents a politicization of the U.S. attorney’s office of the District of Columbia that is remarkable and unique and unprecedented,” said Stuart M. Gerson, a Republican and former Barr aide who served as acting attorney general briefly under presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. “It’s a political coup; there really can be no question about it.”
So the same day Barr is claiming the Justice Department won't be used for "partisan political ends" he's installing Trump loyalists on key cases.
Expect things to get brutal in the months ahead, especially as COVID-19 and the Trump Depression rage on unabated.