Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, indicated on Tuesday that he hopes to release a report by Election Day detailing the panel’s investigation of the Obama Justice Department’s probe into alleged collusion between Russia and now-President Donald Trump’s campaign in the 2016 presidential race, The Hill reported.
In comments he made to reporters, Graham said he wants to “get all the information out there” in time for November’s election.
According to The Hill, Graham explained that committee members are likely to look into the FBI investigation, dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane,” as well as possible abuses of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant process.
As part of that process, he said the panel will vote next month on whether to subpoena Obama-era officials including former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
The remarks sparked some criticism among those who felt Graham was attempting to use the probe as an influencing factor in the election.
“I’m trying to explain to the American people what happened,” the senator said in response to a reporter’s question about such concerns, according to The Hill.
Nevertheless, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) expressed his displeasure in a statement claiming that Graham is trying to “rewrite the history of Russian interference in the 2016 election to match the fantasy in President Trump’s head,” as The Hill reported.
Trump, for his part, has focused on what he calls “Obamagate” in recent days, suggesting on multiple occasions that former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden committed crimes while in office.
OBAMAGATE makes Watergate look small time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 11, 2020
Attorney General William Barr, however, dismissed the possibility that a Justice Department probe into the previous administration would lead to charges against either man, The Hill reported separately.
It remains to be seen what the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation will uncover, but Graham indicated this week that the panel is “going to do this by October,” according to Axios.
Some critics of the Justice Department are concerned that an investigation into the Obama administration will not include those at the very top. For such individuals, Graham’s announcement this week might offer some reassurance that a robust investigation remains underway.