U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham talks to a reporter as he arrives at Capitol Hill in Washington U.S. on May 10, 2016.
Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

Why Graham will call a former Trump campaign adviser to testify


The contrasts between Congress’ Judiciary committees are quite striking. Tomorrow, for example, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller will appear before the Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee, where he’ll presumably shed light on his lengthy investigation into the Russia scandal.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Capitol Hill, there’s the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who recently conceded he hadn’t even read the Mueller report. The South Carolina Republican, who’s up for re-election next year, added that he’s “done” evaluating the findings.

Asked in a recent interview about evidence of Donald Trump possibly having committed obstruction of justice, Graham said, more than once, “I don’t care.”

That’s not to say, however, that the GOP senator is prepared to direct his attention elsewhere. Graham’s still interested in the scandal; he just wants to approach it from a more partisan direction.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he plans to call former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos to testify as part of a “deep dive” into the early stages of the FBI probe into Russian election interference.

“The committee will be looking at the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign. We will call Papadopoulos and we will find out what happened,” Graham said at the start of a hearing Tuesday with FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Graham said that the panel would conduct a “deep dive into 2016 surveillance by the FBI,” reiterating plans he has long had to investigate the origins of the Russia probe.

Or put another way, Graham cares about the Russia scandal the same way Attorney General Bill Barr does.

So while the House Judiciary Committee seeks answers about the investigation, Graham’s GOP-led committee remains determined to investigate the investigation.

The chairman’s Democratic colleagues recently prepared for him a list of questions he should, at least in theory, want the answers to related to the investigation. To date, he’s ignored each of them.

Graham’s indifference to what matters, coupled with his preoccupation with an odd conspiracy theory, speak volumes.