Lindsey Graham on IG Report: Top Officials Took the Law ‘Into Their Own Hands’

Senate Judiciary Committee

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday about the Department of Justice Inspector General’s report on the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), chairman of the committee, said that the document shows the system failed to stop government operatives from spying on the Trump campaign.

“What happened here can never happen again,” Graham said, referring to FBI operatives who showed clear bias against then-presidential candidate Donald Trump in communications and expressed willingness to work to prevent his winning in 2016. 

“Because what happened here is not a few irregularities,” Graham said. “What happened here is the system failed.”

“People at the highest level of government took the law into their own hands,” Graham said.

“And when I say defraud the FISA court I mean it!” Graham said, referring to the irregularities exposed in the report in obtaining warrants from the court.

“You were able to uncover and discover abuse of power I never believed would actually exist in 2019,” Graham said to Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who testified before the committee on his report.

“How bad is it?” Graham asked. “It’s as if J. Edgar Hoover came back to life.”

“The old FBI,” Graham said. “The FBI that had a chip on its shoulder and wanted to intimidate people and find out what was going on in your life and the law be damned.”

“Martin Luther King and just fill in the names,” Graham said, referring to the FBI’s now-infamous investigation into the late civil rights icon.

The Senate hearings are taking place at the same time that the House is proceeding with articles of impeachment against Trump for what Democrats claim is the president’s “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress” surrounding foreign policy the president conducted with Ukraine.

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