Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” said he spoke to Attorney General William Barr, who told him information coming out of Ukraine could be Russian propaganda.
Graham said that included what President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani was turning over to the Justice Department.
Partial transcript as follows:
GRAHAM: If Rudy Giuliani has any information coming out of the Ukraine, he needs to turn over the Department of Justice because it could be Russian propaganda.
BRENNAN: You last time you’re on this program now in December, you said Giuliani should come to the Judiciary Committee with what he said was a suitcase full of documents he picked up in Ukraine on the Bidens. Are you saying you don’t want any part of this anymore?
GRAHAM: After talking to the attorney general and the intelligence chairman that any documents coming out of the Ukraine against any American, Republican or Democrat, need to be looked at by the intelligence services, who has expertise I don’t because Russia is playing us all like a fiddle. And Christopher Steele was played by the Russians that started the Russian investigation against President Trump.
GRAHAM: It was all garbage.
BRENNAN: Are you saying Rudy Giuliani–
GRAHAM: I don’t want to do the same thing.
BRENNAN: –Rudy Giuliani is getting played by the Russians?
GRAHAM: I don’t know. I’m saying that the attorney–
BRENNAN: Well it sounds like that’s what you’re suggesting.
GRAHAM: I’m saying that anybody who’s got any information coming from the Ukraine needs to turn it over to the intelligence community. As to Senator Schumer warning Parnas and the audience, if you don’t understand–
BRENNAN: This is one of Rudy Giuliani’s business associates.
GRAHAM: Yes, crooked as snake–
BRENNAN: –who’s been indicted.
GRAHAM: –facing indictment. So Schiff gets called by Russian hoaxster. I’ve got photos of President Trump in a compromised situation. To every American politician, you should be very cautious about receiving information coming out of the Ukraine–
GRAHAM: –and other countries that may be backed by Russian misinformation.
BRENNAN: Does the president know that? Because he–
GRAHAM: I hope so.
BRENNAN: –apparently has continued to–
GRAHAM: Well, if he’s watching the show, here’s what I would tell the president.
BRENNAN: –believe that Ukraine had a role here.
GRAHAM: I’m going to get to the bottom of the FISA work process because it was an abuse of power of the Department of Justice, the FBI. And we’re to make sure that Hunter Biden’s conflict of interest is explored because it’s legitimate. How could Joe Biden really fight corruption when his son sitting on the Burisma board?
BRENNAN: Can you clarify? You said you talked to Attorney General Barr–
GRAHAM: This morning.
BRENNAN: –this morning. Has the Department of Justice been ordered to investigate the Bidens?
GRAHAM: No. The Department of Justice is receiving information coming out of the Ukraine from Rudy–
GRAHAM: –to see. He told me that they’ve created a process that Rudy could give information and they would see if it’s verified. Rudy Giuliani is a well known man. He’s a crime fighter. He’s loyal to the president. He’s a good lawyer. But what I’m trying to say- to the president and anybody else, that the Russians are still up to it. Deterrence is not working. So let’s look at Hunter Biden’s conflict. Let’s look at Joe Biden. Vice President Biden, what did you do when they told you your son was on Burisma’s board? It undercuts your ability to fight corruption. Did you take it seriously? Obviously he didn’t. But when it comes to documents coming out of the Ukraine, to Republicans and Democrats, be very cautious turning–
BRENNAN: But the–
GRAHAM: –anything over you got over to the intel community.
BRENNAN: Have you ever said to the president when he repeats things like the idea that there’s the DNC server- server hidden in Ukraine, that this is Russian propaganda that he is repeating and apparently believing?
GRAHAM: Well, I’ll–
BRENNAN: Have you ever said that directly to him?
GRAHAM: Well, I don’t have any information about the server being in the Ukraine.
BRENNAN: But you just said–
GRAHAM: It was the Russians—
BRENNAN: –things coming out of Ukraine should be looked at with high scrutiny–
GRAHAM: Here’s my point–
BRENNAN:– because of Russian interference.
GRAHAM: –my point. It was the Russians who hacked into the DNC, not the Ukrainians. But there are people in the Ukraine that were pulling against Trump because they hated Manafort. To suggest there was no political interference coming out of the Ukraine directed toward the president, I think would be- would not withstand scrutiny.
BRENNAN: When- you have a role as chairman of Senate Judiciary to have oversight–
BRENNAN: –of justice department.
GRAHAM: I’m not in charge of the whole government.
BRENNAN: But- I understand that. However, when you’re talking about being asked to do these things in a channel being open between Rudy Giuliani and the Justice Department, this sounds a lot like this is in some ways a taxpayer funded oppo-research operation against Joe Biden. Isn’t this exactly what was at the heart of the impeachment probe to begin with?
GRAHAM: No, not at all. There are plenty of people being contacted by folks from the Ukraine. Adam Schiff got contacted by somebody thought to be a Russian and he was willing to get on a plane apparently and go find the documents. Schumer believes that Parnas has got the goods. Parnas says I’m in on it. I’ve never met Parnas. So Democrats are being played and I’m not going to be played. So we’re going to look at the Hunter Biden, Joe Biden connection to the Ukraine. We’re going to ask the State Department, why didn’t you do something about the conflict of interest. When the- John Kerry’s chief of staff was warned about Hunter Biden’s conflict on Burisma, what did you do, if anything? That’s all legitimate. Rudy says he’s got the goods. All I can tell Rudy and anybody else, if you got some information connected to the Ukraine against anybody, go to the Intel Committee. Not me.
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