Lindsey Graham rejects Trump demand that Obama testify on Russia probe
Michael Brochstein | Echoes Wire | Barcroft Media by way of Getty Photographs
“I believe it would be a nasty precedent to compel a former president to come back earlier than the Congress,” Graham, an in depth ally of Trump’s, informed reporters on Capitol Hill.
“That will open up a can of worms and for quite a lot of causes I do not suppose that is a good suggestion,” Graham stated.
However the senator does plan to carry hearings on issues associated to the Russia investigation, he stated in a press release Thursday.
Trump had tweeted earlier Thursday morning that, “If I had been a Senator or Congressman, the primary individual I might name to testify concerning the greatest political crime and scandal within the historical past of the USA, by FAR, is former President Obama. He knew EVERYTHING.”
Trump tagged Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, within the tweet: “Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, simply do it. No extra Mr. Good Man. No extra speak!”
Trump didn’t say in his tweet what he thinks Obama ought to testify about.
The president has ramped up his assaults towards Obama within the final week, after the Division of Justice’s shock transfer to dismiss its case towards Michael Flynn, Trump’s first nationwide safety advisor. Flynn had pleaded responsible to mendacity to the FBI about his conversations within the weeks earlier than Trump’s inauguration with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Over the weekend, Trump used the time period “Obamagate” amid a slew of tweets and retweets attacking the FBI’s conduct in Flynn’s case.
The phrase seems to function a catchall for a number of allegations towards Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s now the obvious Democratic presidential nominee, which NBC Information reported will not be backed up by proof.
Trump has lengthy described former particular counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian election meddling, doable Kremlin coordination with Trump’s 2016 marketing campaign and doable obstruction of justice by the president himself, as a “hoax.”
When a reporter on the White Home on Monday requested what crime Trump was accusing Obama of committing, the president didn’t specify.
“You recognize what the crime is,” Trump stated. “The crime could be very apparent to all people. All it’s a must to do is learn the newspapers, besides yours.”
Final Friday, Yahoo Information revealed audio of Obama saying in a personal name that the Justice Division’s transfer to drop its prosecution of Flynn made him fear that “the rule of regulation is in danger.”
A spokeswoman for Obama didn’t reply to CNBC’s request for touch upon Trump’s Thursday morning tweet.
Graham plans to carry congressional hearings in June concerning Flynn’s case and different facets of the Mueller probe, together with whether or not Mueller “ought to have ever been appointed as Particular Counsel.”
Graham stated in his assertion that he plans to carry congressional hearings in June concerning Flynn’s case and different facets of the Mueller probe, together with whether or not Mueller “ought to have ever been appointed as Particular Counsel.”
“To say we live in uncommon instances is an understatement,” Graham’s assertion added. “We now have the sitting president (Trump) accusing the previous president (Obama) of being a part of a treasonous conspiracy to undermine his presidency. We now have the previous president suggesting the present president is destroying the rule of regulation by dismissing the Common Flynn case.”
If Graham or one other senator had been to subpoena Obama to testify, it will be a transfer made apparently with out precedent in U.S. historical past. Nonetheless, some former presidents and a small handful of sitting presidents – together with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln – have voluntarily testified underneath oath, JustSecurity reported.
— CNBC’s Christina Wilkie contributed to this report.