Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham plans to call Attorney General William Barr to testify in a public hearing about the Russia investigation and his conclusions that President Donald Trump did not obstruct justice.
“I’m asking him to lay it all out,” the South Carolina Republican said Monday at a press conference at the Capitol. But he stopped short of saying Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III would be asked to testify as well.
Graham spoke to the media the day after he golfed with President Donald Trump at the president’s private golf resort in Florida and Barr delivered a four-page summary of Mueller’s nearly two-year probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
He pointed out that Mueller did not find a conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and Barr concluded that Trump will not face a criminal charge that he obstructed the investigation.
Watch: Lindsey Graham calls for a special counsel investigation on ‘the other side of the story’
But Graham focused on questions he has about whether the counterintelligence investigation started and gained steam through a surveillance court because of political leanings of investigators at the FBI — and said the committee would be looking into that because it hasn’t been a focus so far.
“Those days are over. Going forward, hopefully in a bipartisan fashion, we will begin to unpack the other side of the story,” Graham said.
As part of that, Graham said he would encourage Barr to appoint a special counsel to look at, among other things, what happened with a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant process and the role that former FBI Director James B. Comey played in the process.
“I think it’s important to find out what happened,” Graham said.
Graham also said he saw Trump on the plane after the Barr summary was released Sunday and described it this way:
“I don’t know how to explain this, I mean, you’ve been under extreme scrutiny, you’ve been shouting to the mountaintop, ‘I didn’t do this,’” Graham said. “A sense of relief, a sense of frustration, how could this happen, are those who did this going to get away with it?”
And “I hope some new energy” that would add legitimacy to his election that he didn’t have before, “and let’s go about governing the country,” Graham said.