Lindsey Graham lacks the resources and access that the House and Senate Intelligence Committees have to investigate Russia’s meddling in the presidential election. But his Senate Judiciary subcommittee has something the intelligence panels don’t: a Republican chairman viewed not as a Donald Trump ally but as a fierce critic, who has no qualms with bucking party leaders to unravel the mystery of Russia’s interference in the election. Graham and his Democratic partner, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, will seize the spotlight Wednesday during a public hearing on Russia’s election interference, to be held by Graham’s Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, which has jurisdiction over the FBI.
Graham and Whitehouse plan to use their perch to help ensure the public gets a full accounting of Russia’s intrusion and any possible ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
The bipartisan duo already has its first target: getting the FBI to clear up Trump’s claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower in the run-up to the 2016 election. They sent a letter last week to the Justice Department asking it to turn over information that would confirm or refute Trump’s accusation — including warrant applications and court orders. The House Intelligence Committee is seeking the same information and so far neither has been unable to shake it loose.