Republicans are getting ready to flip the tables and launch their own investigations after the Senate acquits President Donald Trump. Sen. Lindsey Graham warned that the Senate Intelligence Committee will call the whistleblower whose complaint ended up launching the impeachment inquiry against Trump while the Foreign Relations Committee will investigate Joe Biden.
“The Senate Intel committee under Richard Burr has told us that we will call the whistleblower,” Graham said on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures. “Why is it important? I want to know how all this crap started.” Graham went on to say that he wants to know what ties the whistleblower who first raised a red flag regarding Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has with Democrats. “If the whistleblower is a former employee of, associate of, Joe Biden, I think that would be important. If the whistleblower was working with people on Schiff’s staff that wanted to take Trump down a year and a half ago, I think that would be important. If the Schiff staff people helped write the complaint, that would be important. We’re going to get to the bottom of all of this to make sure this never happens again,” Graham said.
Graham said that in addition to the investigation into the whistleblower, the Foreign Relations Committee will be looking into Biden’s alleged conflicts of interest because of his son’s work on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma. “I’m gonna bring in State Department officials and ask them, ‘Why didn’t you do something about the obvious conflict of interest Joe Biden had?’” Graham said. “Joe Biden’s effort to combat corruption in the Ukraine became a joke.” The senator from South Carolina assured that he “can prove beyond any doubt that Joe Biden’s effort in the Ukraine to root out corruption was undercut because he let his son sit on the board of the most corrupt company in the Ukraine and we’re not gonna give him a pass on that.”
Under Graham’s telling three committees will be launching investigations after the impeachment trial is over. “Senate Intel will deal with the whistleblower, Foreign Relations committee will deal with Joe Biden’s conflict of interest, the Judiciary Committee will deal with all things FISA,” he said.
Graham says the Senate Intelligence Committee told him the whistleblower will be called to testify. pic.twitter.com/AtywWco62K
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) February 3, 2020
Republicans theorize that Schiff’s office had a special line to the whistleblower because at least two of Schiff’s staffers “worked alongside the CIA official some believe to be the whistleblower at the NSC in the Obama and Trump administrations,” according to the Washington Examiner.
Schiff claimed that his office had no contact with the whistleblower before the whistleblower filed a complaint with the inspector general alleging that Trump offered to authorize an influx of foreign aid for the Ukraine if Ukrainian officials agreed to investigate whether former Vice President Joe Biden abused his power during the Obama years, waving Ukrainian prosecutors off oil and gas company, Burisma, which employed his son, Hunter.
The House Intelligence Committee chair was later forced to clarify his comments, per CNN, after the New York Times and others reported “that the whistleblower had reached out to a House Intelligence Committee aide before filing the whistleblower complaint. The committee directed the whistleblower to report it to the intelligence community inspector general, which is standard committee protocol when intelligence community officials bring concerns to the committee.” The whistleblower also reportedly failed to tell the inspector general that he met with Schiff’s staff.
Schiff, who had been focusing on Trump’s tax records and his alleged ties to debunked Russian financiers suddenly pivoted to an investigation into whether Trump inked a “quid-pro-quo” agreement with Ukraine without explanation last fall and the timing, Republicans say, is suspect.
Graham also told Bartiromo that he and Burr are interested in whether the whistleblower has ties to the Biden family.
“Let me tell Republicans out there. You should expect us to do this. If we don’t do it, we’re letting you down. I guarantee you: if [the] shoe were on the other foot, Democrats would be eating us alive if Republicans had done any of these things,” Graham concluded Sunday.