Republicans can't shake their preoccupation with Clinton, emails

(FILES) This file photo taken on November 7, 2016 shows Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaking during a rally outside the University of...

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) caused a bit of a stir on NBC's "Today" show yesterday morning, telling viewers that the relationship between Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions is "beyond repair." The senator added that the dispute between the two goes "much deeper" than the investigation into the Russia scandal, prompting a round of speculation about what he meant.

But there was something else Graham said on television yesterday that also stood out for me, The Atlantic's Natasha Bertrand noted:

"Lindsey Graham is on @foxandfriends, where he says that if any other American did what Clinton did with her emails 'they'd be in jail' and that Russia did interfere in the election ... using the Steele dossier."

This wasn't idle partisan chatter. If the GOP holds onto its Senate majority in this year's midterm elections, the South Carolina Republican will almost certainly become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he's already said he intends to use his position to explore the "controversy" over Hillary Clinton's emails.

Indeed, Graham told  Roll Call earlier this month that he's "appalled" by the FBI's handling of the investigation into Clinton's emails, adding, "I promise you that the people who put the Clinton investigation in the tank, they're going to have their day too.... There's a good chance I'll be Judiciary chairman if we hold the Senate next year. If I'm Judiciary chairman? Stay tuned."

A recent report from the Justice Department inspector general's office suggests Graham's concerns are baseless, but evidently, he doesn't care.

Meanwhile, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) told Rachel on the show last week that the day after Michael Cohen's guilty pleas, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee announced plans to hold a meeting on Clinton's emails, and that meeting did, in fact, happen this past Friday.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, tweeted about Hillary Clinton yesterday -- three times.

In case this isn't obvious, the former Secretary of State left public office six years ago. And yet, the more the walls appear to close in on her former rival, the more Republicans can't quite let go of their longtime obsession.

At an event last October, Clinton joked, "It appears they don't know I'm not president." Nearly a year later, there's a reason the joke still resonates.