Sen. Rand Paul wants answers from scads of the figures involved in the Russian collusion investigation.
In remarks on the Senate floor Thursday, the Kentucky Republican said he wanted to know whether former President Barack Obama’s administration was involved in the investigation of the Trump campaign — and introduced a plan that would look into many of the key figures in that probe.
“Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke on the U.S. Senate floor to offer an amendment to the House-passed resolution on releasing the Mueller Report that demands more information on the origins of the Obama Administration’s decisions concerning the investigation of Donald Trump and his campaign, particularly the use of the unverified and patently false Steele dossier,” Paul’s office said in a statement.
“What we need to discover, and we do not yet know, was President Obama involved? Was this done for partisan purposes? Was this done to try to elect Hillary Clinton?” Paul said during his remarks from the floor.
In his remarks, Paul became the latest Republican lawmaker to insist that the focus of the investigation shift.
“What do we know so far? We know that we spent $30 million to investigate this, and they have decided and included — after doing hundreds of interviews and thousands of subpoenas — they have concluded that President Trump did not collude with the Russians, did not conspire with the Russians, did not commit a crime with the Russians and, as the president has said repeatedly, he never talked to the Russians,” Paul said.
“Now that we know that, in addition to the Mueller report, we also need to know was there malfeasance?” he continued. “Was there misuse of government power? Did President Obama’s administration get involved in an election to actually try and manipulate and infiltrate the Trump campaign to entrap them or try to spread information that was incorrect?
“We need to know that.”
Paul was speaking in support of his amendment to H. Con. Res. 24, which calls for a number of investigations.
The amendment, according to Paul’s press release, asks “for the public release of all information and communications involving James Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper, Susan Rice, Barack Obama, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Loretta Lynch, Bruce Ohr, or anyone else in the Obama Administration concerning the Steele dossier or investigating Donald Trump and his campaign.”
It also calls for former CIA Director Brennan, “who allowed the Central Intelligence Agency to spy on computers of the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate, to testify under oath and provide to Congress all his records and communications regarding the 2016 election.”
The resolution notes that Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, “lied to the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate about a secret surveillance program that was gathering all phone data of people in the United States” and calls on him “to testify under oath and provide to Congress all his records and communications regarding the 2016 election.”
Paul’s resolution also seeks the public release of all of Obama’s communications on the matter, as well as all documents related to former Secretary of State Clinton’s private email server or the Clinton Foundation.
So, what could this retinue be nailed on? Well, for starters, the provenance of the Steele dossier, which was used to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant. And then there’s also the possibility that improper surveillance was going on; according to Paul, the individuals who might be most exposed to trouble are Brennan, Clapper and former FBI Director Comey.
In an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Thursday, Paul spoke of a source who told him of spying on the Trump campaign by Obama’s Department of Justice.
“Well, my source tells me that the intelligence community, Obama’s intelligence community, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, they were frustrated because they had this Russian dossier but nobody believed it was real,” Paul said.
“It wasn’t verifiable, they couldn’t get anything out of it,” Paul said. “So they sent spies into the Trump campaign, they tried to entrap Trump officials to admit they were working with Russia. That wasn’t working, so they were frustrated. …
“But they wanted to somehow get this information out — this Russian dossier … So finally they decided … what we have to do is attach this dossier, this fake dossier, to an intelligence report” that was given to Obama.
Paul isn’t the only Republican to come out for an investigation of the Obama administration’s actions involving both the Trump campaign and the Steele dossier. Earlier in the week, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called for a special counsel to be appointed to look into it.
“When it comes to the FISA warrant, the Clinton campaign, the counterintelligence investigation, it’s pretty much been swept under the rug,” Graham said. “Those days are over.”
One hopes more Republicans will go on the offensive to ensure that they are.
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