Republican presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks at the Growth and Opportunity Party, at the Iowa State Fair Oct. 31, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Photo by Steve Pope/Getty

GOP senators turn their attention to Clinton email probe

Last summer, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) not only expressed confidence in the outcome of the 2018 midterm elections, he also boasted about what he’d do if elevated to the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Near the top of the senator’s list of priorities: the Hillary Clinton email probe.

Graham wasn’t kidding. Indeed, we were reminded yesterday that Graham is both focused on the Clinton email probe and recruiting some friends for his endeavor.

A trio of top Republican senators are doubling down on their demand for the Justice Department to hand over information on the handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) – the chairmen of the Judiciary, Homeland Security and Finance committees, respectively – sent a letter Tuesday to Attorney General William Barr arguing that now that special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe has wrapped up, the department should hand over the requested documents.

It’s possible the GOP senators have forgotten this pesky detail, but the Justice Department inspector general’s office already examined the probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and it discredited the conspiracy theories.

As the New York Times’ David Leonhardt explained last year, “Federal investigators and prosecutors did not give preferential treatment to Clinton. They pursued the case on the merits. They were guided by, as the inspector general’s report puts it, ‘the prosecutor’s assessment of the facts, the law, and past Department practice.’”

There was no pro-Clinton bias. As Rachel explained on the show 10 months ago, the Justice Department’s exhaustive review determined that the reason Clinton wasn’t charged was because there simply wasn’t reason to charge her. The investigation into her emails was handled properly.

And yet, there are Graham, Johnson, and Grassley, on the eve of the Mueller report’s release, turning their attention once more to partisan conspiracy theories surrounding Clinton and emails, raising questions that have already been answered.

Is it any wonder Democratic senators are laughing at them?

The Hill had this report a few months ago.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), asked about Graham’s plans, started laughing and compared them to the “thrilling days of yesteryear.”

“This is going to be like the History Channel it turns out. Instead of taking a look at the current issues, Lindsey Graham wants to go back and answer important questions about the Bermuda Triangle and Hillary Clinton,” Durbin told The Hill.

Durbin said he was “concerned” about Graham’s plans but quipped that “you know there is that question about Jimmy Carter which he probably wants to ask.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), another member of the panel, said maybe Graham should “investigate Benghazi some more too” – an apparent reference to a years-long House probe that Democrats considered a political stunt.

Graham, Johnson, and Grassley will very likely impress conservative media and their party’s far-right base with their latest efforts – but no one else.

Perhaps, in their eyes, no one else matters.