Senator Lindsey Graham (R- SC) on Monday directly challenged the Justice Department inspector general’s conclusion that there was no “documentary evidence” to prove that political bias affected the federal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
“I’m not buying that the Clinton email investigation was on the up and up,” Graham told DOJ I.G. Michael Horowitz during his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss his 568-page report.
Graham, like other Republicans, focused on the contents of an Aug. 8, 2016, exchange of texts between FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, in which Strzok, the lead investigator in the Clinton probe, had indicated that he could prevent then-candidate Donald Trump from getting elected.
“We’ll stop it,” Strzok had told Page.
“I don’t know how you feel about that — that’s pretty unnerving,” the senator noted, pointing out that just a week later, they were texting about an “insurance policy” following a meeting in “Andy’s office” to stop Trump.
“There is nothing here that is normal, folks,” Graham lamented.
The senator also suggested that the FBI’s decision to have two agents and two prosecutors in the room when Clinton was interviewed also appeared to be a political decision.
He cited a February 2016 email from Page to McCabe. “Page: ‘You surely already considered this. But in my view, our best reason to hold the line at two and two (two agents and two prosecutors) is she might be our next president.’ How did you feel about that?” Graham pressed the I.G.
Horowitz replied that his team was concerned about it and said they laid out why in the report.
When asked how he felt about the FBI investigator who said, “I’m with her” on election day, Horowitz replied that he was “very concerned.”
“Eventually ‘very concerned’ gets to be ‘enough already,'” Graham exclaimed.
He asked FBI Director Christopher Wray if he’s ever proved a case using circumstantial evidence.
“Yes,” Wray answered.
“Well, I’m going to write you a letter and talk about why you should reconsider your findings as to whether or not it affected the investigation,” Graham said.
He pointed out that it was evident early on that FBI agents on the Clinton investigation “hated Trump.”
“This investigation was anything but ‘by the book,'” Graham said. “And at the end of the day, what Comey did just blows me away as much as it does y’all. And I can’t believe that this happened to my FBI!”
He argued that according to the standards he was familiar with, “there was a lot of bias” that affected the Clinton investigation.
The senator continued wearily: “This is Strzok to Page on October the 20th: ‘Trump is an effing idiot.'”
He added: “The bottom line is, I’m glad you found what you found, Mr. Horowitz. I’m not buying that the Clinton email investigation was on the up and up. And the reason I’m not buying it is because the two people intimately involved — one … the lead investigator — clearly did not want to see Donald Trump become president of the United States.”
To drive the point home, he asked the inspector general, “Do you agree with me that finding her [Clinton] liable criminally would be inconsistent with stopping Donald Trump? If they found that Hillary Clinton was criminally liable, that paves the way for Donald Trump,” Graham argued.
Horowitz said it would depend upon when that decision came down, but agreed that it could “clearly, conceivably” have paved the way for Trump.
“Not only ‘clearly, conceivably,'” Graham shot back. “That is exactly what is happening here, folks. You cannot hold her criminally liable and stop him.”