The FBI investigation into President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign over allegations of Russian collusion has long been decried as a “witch hunt” by the president and many key allies.
In the ongoing saga’s latest wrinkle, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) authorized the release of a treasure trove of documents related to the federal probe dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane.”
“Incompetent and corrupt”
While he said he wanted to release everything possible in an effort to expose the alleged corruption of the intelligence officials behind the investigation, he noted that some details from the 11 witness transcripts remained classified and could not be released.
Graham thanked the witnesses for their “candor” and cooperation in the probe before sharing his conclusions.
“I believe that Crossfire Hurricane was one of the most incompetent and corrupt investigations in the history of the FBI and DOJ,” he said.
The South Carolina Republican went on to claim that the “FISA court was lied to” in the pursuit of warrants against Trump campaign officials.
“Exculpatory information was withheld on those being investigated,” Graham added. “The investigators, with some notable exceptions, were incredibly biased and used the powers of law enforcement for political purposes. The subjects of the investigation had their lives turned upside down. It is my hope that counterintelligence investigations will be reined in and this never happens again in America.”
“A blind eye”
Pointing a finger directly at former FBI Director James Comey and top attorney Andrew McCabe, he said the bureau leaders were either “grossly incompetent” or criminal.
“There was a blind eye turned toward any explanation other than the Trump campaign was colluding with foreign powers,” Graham said.
Although officials in the FBI and Justice Department reportedly knew by August 2017 that there was no concrete evidence supporting a Trump-Russia connection, Graham noted that special counsel Robert Mueller continued to investigate the president for another year and a half.
“Former FBI Director Comey and his deputy Mr. McCabe, through their incompetence and bias, have done a great disservice to the FBI and DOJ, and the senior DOJ leadership who signed off on the work product called the Crossfire Hurricane investigation have created a stain on the department’s reputation that can only be erased by true reform,” the GOP senator said.
U.S. Attorney John Durham continues to lead a team investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia collusion probe, but his findings have yet to result in an official report.