Tags: Lindsey Graham | FBI | Subpoena | Trump | Wiretap | Probe

Sen. Lindsey Graham: FBI Will Face Subpoena If Info on Wiretap Probe Isn't Released

(CNN/"New Day")

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Mar 2017 09:47 AM

FBI Director James Comey has not responded to a letter from the Senate Judiciary Committee to confirm whether there is an investigation concerning President Donald Trump's claims that former President Barack Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign or of ties with Russia, and a subpoena may need to be issued to get the information about the wiretapping, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday.

"I like Director Comey," the South Carolina Republican told CNN's "New Day" anchor Chris Cuomo. "He's in a bad spot here. You have the current president accusing the former president of basically having his campaign surveilled. The way you would do that is get a warrant either through the FISA court or a criminal court. I want to get to the bottom of it."

The FBI would know if a warrant was issued, said Graham, and he wants an answer to that question.

"If they do not provide the answer to that letter we wrote in a bipartisan fashion, there will be a bipartisan subpoena following the FBI," said Graham.

The Judiciary Committee will meet on Wednesday, and Graham said that while reports are that Comey will be at that hearing, that is not true.

"He's not a witness," Graham told CNN. "We have four people who will talk about what Russia does all over the world to interfere with democracies, the tools in their tool box.

"We wrote a letter, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and myself, wanting to know if there's evidence of a warrant. He hasn't answered that letter or confirmed if there's an investigation of the Trump campaign. He needs to answer the letter and give the nation some information about what's going on here."

Graham said he and Whitehouse met with Comey two weeks ago, and told him at that time he wanted to know if there was a criminal investigation under way, and that he wanted information himself "because I'm about to launch a congressional investigation of Russia."

"I think it's very important that Congress know whether or not there's a criminal investigation so that what we're doing doesn't interfere with what Comey may be doing," said Graham.

"If there's a criminal investigation of the Trump ties to Russia, I think the country needs to know it, Congress needs to know it, and he has never promised to answer that question."

Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Tuesday said he'd be willing to block the confirmation of deputy attorney general-nominee Rod Rosenstein until after Comey turns over the information, said Graham.

The subpoena would be for the wiretapping information, not about evidence linking Russia's interference directly to the Trump campaign, said Graham.

"We want to know if a warrant was ever issued, the information provided to the judge or judges in question," said Graham. "What did you give them? Did they give you a warrant? I want to know that. That's the letter which would be backed up by subpoena."

In addition, Graham said he has not gotten information concerning if there is an active investigation regarding the Trump campaign's alleged ties with Russia.

"No one has ever told me there is," aid Graham. "[Former] Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said a couple weeks ago on his watch there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. So I want to know that this has been raised by the current president, I think Congress should look into all things Russia."

Graham said he himself has not seen evidence of a wiretap being requested by the Department of Justice or a warrant, but the longer it takes Comey to answer his letter, the "more concerned and suspicious I'm beginning to be."

The senator, who had a contentious battle with Trump during the 2016 primary, denied Wednesday that he has "political hate" toward the president.

"I've talked to him twice in the last week, had great conversations about healthcare and national security," said Graham. "But the president raised this issue a week or so ago saying he believed his campaign was wiretapped by the former president. There should be a way to find that out. Once you raise it, you've got to answer the question."

Graham, meanwhile, said he does not think Russian interference changed the eventual election results, but it's still important to know if they committed the actions.

"It wasn't a 400-pound guy sitting on his bed who hacked into the DNC [Democratic National Committee]," said Graham, repeating a statement Trump has made about the matter.

"It was Russian intelligence services. They took that information, gave it to WikiLeaks and tried to basically embarrass Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and if we don't stop Russia, it could be Iran and China tomorrow. It could be Republicans on the receiving end of this."

Graham, also appearing on NBC's "Today" show and MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, vowed that Congress would "flex its muscle" to determine the status of the investigation.

"I think the country wants to know if there's a there there," Graham told Today. "If it's not true, just tell me it's not true. Why is it taking so long to get an answer?"

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FBI Director James Comey has not responded to a letter from the Senate Judiciary Committee to confirm whether there is an investigation concerning President Donald Trump's claims that former President Barack Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign...
Lindsey Graham, FBI, Subpoena, Trump, Wiretap, Probe
Wednesday, 15 Mar 2017 09:47 AM
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