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Bob Graham: Congress Ill-Prepared for Russia Probe If Mueller Fired

Bob Graham: Congress Ill-Prepared for Russia Probe If Mueller Fired
Former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 04 September 2017 09:50 PM

Congress lacks the staffing and all the records it needs to conduct the probe into Russian attempts to influence the presidential election, and that is a problem if special counsel Robert Mueller finds himself fired from the Justice Department's investigation, says the Democrat who ran Congress' 9/11 investigation.

Former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., spelled out his concerns in a Sunday op-ed in The Washington Post.

Monday, he told CNN's "OutFront" he has concerns Mueller, named to head up the probe after President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, might be fired himself.

"I don't know what the odds are that he won't be able to finish the investigation, but it seems as if every time he gets a little bit closer to the core of the issue of Russian involvement, that creates a flurry of activity that may be interpreted that he's under threat of being cashiered," said Graham, referring to the military ceremony where an officer is stripped of medals and insignia.

Should that happen, Graham told CNN, "the full responsibility for the investigation into what is an unprecedented attack on American democracy is going to fall on the Congress."

And, he added, "I don't think the Congress is very well prepared to accept that responsibility."

Graham's op-ed urged the Senate and House committees investigating the matter to hire more competent staff suited for that type of investigation and to ensure they have access to all records Comey and Mueller have obtained.

It should be done with a sense of urgency, Graham said, so the information can be shared with the American public as rapidly as possible.

After 9/11, the House and Senate decided to merge their probes to avoid the appearance of competition or conflict, he said, and they hired an independent staff and director who were able to perform a "deep, thorough, and very persuasive inquiry into what happened on 9/11.

"I don't see those elements being in place now," Graham said.

The three branches of government are intended as checks and balances, but still must have a level of respect for each other and for themselves, he said. That has not been apparent in other issues, he added, "and certainly not in this Russian meddling case."

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Congress lacks the resources to investigate Russian attempts to influence the presidential election, which is problematic if special counsel Robert Mueller finds himself fired from the Justice Department's investigation, says the Democrat who ran Congress' 9/11 investigation.
bob graham, congress, robert mueller, intelligence
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2017-50-04
Monday, 04 September 2017 09:50 PM
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