Republican Senator Lindsay Graham just spoke with a live audience of his constituents in Clemson, and what he told them should be chilling to both Russian spies and America’s crumbling presidential administration.
The crowd literally laughed out loud when he told them about President Trump’s accusatory early morning tweets which falsely accused President Obama of tapping the unsecured phones he used at Trump Tower during the election.
Then the crowd grew very quiet when Senator Graham spoke about what it would mean for the FBI to have lawfully obtained a search warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and the former military lawyer dropped a bombshell:
“If the former President of the United States was able to obtain a warrant lawfully to monitor Trump’s campaign for violating the law, that would be the biggest scandal since Watergate. [crowd says “yeah”]
So here’s the deal, as we get ready to talk to each other, I’m very worried.
I’m very worred. I’m very worried that our President is suggesting that the former President has done something illegally. I would be very worried if in fact, the Obama Administration was able to obtain a warrant lawfully about Trump Campaign activity with foreign governments.
So it’s my job as a United States Senator to get to the bottom of this. I promise y’all I will.”
Senator Graham is absolutely correct. Merely the confirmed existence of probable cause to obtain a FISA warrant, and signatures from three of the 11 senior judges who sit on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, that alone is a Watergate-level revelation.
Former Republican President Richard Nixon resigned during Watergate shortly after it became politically apparent that Republicans would join Democrats in Congress in a vote to impeach.
A lawfully issued FISA warrant would mean that three independent judges agreed with America’s top level counter-intelligence professionals at the NSA, FBI or both had sufficient evidence to show probable cause of espionage or treason by the Trump Campaign.
It’s also possible that a FISA warrant was issued to monitor someone living in Trump Tower like long time resident and “former” Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who has long ties to the Kremlin.
The timing of the FISA warrant underscores Graham’s point about the gravity of the judges’ decision, which they’d not have undertaken lightly during an active federal election.
It’s refreshing to see a Republican lawmaker representing all of his constituents while in office for a change, and speaking with the citizens he represents at a town hall meeting. Sen. Lindsey Graham is one of the few Republicans in Congress plainly putting his country above his political party, but he’s getting damnably little help from the other 280 congresspeople in his party.
If this is how regular people feel about the Trump Russia affair in South Carolina, imagine the anger level across America about Trump’s devilish double-cross of this country with his unholy allegiance to Vladimir Putin and Russia.
— CNN (@CNN) March 4, 2017
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 4, 2017
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition