South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and his Republican colleagues are taking heat for attempting to shift the focus of the William Barr hearings towards Hillary Clinton’s emails, CNN reports.
The Attorney General has been called to the Capitol to answer questions surrounding the release of the Mueller report. Specifically, Congressional Democrats would like answers as to why he only released a four-page summary of the report after it first crossed his desk; why the report that he eventually released was so heavily-redacted; and when (or if) he intends to release the full, un-redacted report; among other questions.
However, some Republicans in Congress have been attempting to inject the narrative of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails into the Barr hearings.
Graham, for example, referenced Hillary Clinton at least three times in ten minutes. He opened by comparing the Mueller investigation and subsequent Congressional hearings to events that happened or were investigated in 2016, including texts between former FBI official Peter Strzok and his mistress where they disparaged then-candidate Donald Trump, as well as three events surrounding Clinton. Those are: the overall investigation into Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server; her team supposedly using hammers to smash old phones; and her supposed use of “bleaching” software to remove all traces of her e-mails.
Not long after the release of the Mueller report, Graham said that Republicans are interested in getting “the other side of the story,” as Vox reported at the time, and specifically mentioned perhaps launching another investigation into Hillary Clinton, her e-mails, and supposed FBI bias when her e-mail use was investigated.
“When it comes to the FISA warrant, the Clinton campaign, the counterintelligence investigation, it’s pretty much been swept under the rug except by a few Republicans in the House. Those days are over.”
When Senator Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, was given his chance to speak, he mocked Graham and his Republican colleagues in Congress for attempting to make the Mueller report and the preceding Russia investigation about Hillary.
“I’ve been listening carefully to my Republican colleagues on the other side, and it appears they are going to work together and coordinate the so-called lock-her-up defense. This is really not supposed to be about the Mueller investigation, the Russian involvement in the election, the Trump campaign, and so forth. It is really about Hillary Clinton’s emails.”
Later in the hearing, Durbin grilled Barr about whom else connect to Barr who may be called to testify, including Trump’s former counsel Don McGahan and even Mueller himself. Barr claimed that he has no objection to Mueller testifying, but claimed that, because McGahan would be testifying about “privileged matters,” it would be Donald Trump’s decision on whether or not to allow McGahan to testify.
This is a developing story. More information about the Barr hearings will be published as it becomes available.