While every Republican in the Senate has been slavishly quick to defend, excuse, and approve of every single one of President Trump’s efforts to obstruct the investigations into his administration and to undermine the rule of law in the United States, none have embraced the role of sycophant quite as enthusiastically as Lindsey Graham.
Over the past few years, the South Carolina Republican who once warned that nominating Trump would “destroy” the Republican Party has become his most vocal cheerleader, eagerly debasing himself and his office in to promote the President’s agenda and protect him from any kind of accountability.
That much was made clear on Tuesday morning when Sen. Graham announced plans to send a letter to multiple foreign governments demanding that they participate in Attorney General Barr’s campaign to legitimize the Trump campaign’s preposterous conspiracy theory that President Obama had asked foreign nations to spy on the Trump campaign.
Speaking to FOX News’ resident Trump cheerleader Sean Hannity, Graham argued that in fact, it was good that the United States Attorney General was actively attempting to exploit U.S. international relations in order to undermine the Special Counsel and his own Justice Department’s efforts to combat Russian cyberwarfare and expose the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with foreign powers.
“Barr should be talking to Australia. He should be talking to Italy. He should be talking to the U.K. to find out if their intelligence services worked with our intelligence services improperly to open up a counterintelligence investigation of Trump’s campaign. If he’s not doing that he’s not doing his job,” said Graham.
Graham is referring to a bombshell report from the New York Times yesterday that revealed that Trump recently tried to convince Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison to investigate his own intelligence community to help Attorney General William Barr gather information for a Justice Department inquiry that would discredit the Mueller investigation. Barr himself had made similar inquiries with the British and Italian governments.
Rather than criticize Barr for flagrantly abusing his position to wage a partisan smear campaign on behalf of a president facing impeachment, Graham announced he was going to personally intervene and demand that the Australians, British, and Italian government cooperate with the Barr inquiry.
“So I’m going to write a letter to all three countries … asking them to cooperate with Barr.”
The Australian government said that they were willing to cooperate with Barr and give him the information that he wants — but seeing as Barr is attempting to dig up evidence for a baseless conspiracy theory, all the cooperation in the world isn’t going to help him.
The idea that the Obama administration was spying on the Trump campaign with the assistance of foreign governments is a prominent piece of Trumpworld canon; Trump himself infamously accused the British government of helping President Obama spy on him and maintains that the Obama administration wiretapped his Trump Tower HQ.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reluctantly opened an impeachment hearing into the president after it was revealed President Trump asked Ukranian president Volodymyr Zelensky about opening a possible investigation into the Biden family over Hunter Biden’s entirely legal if questionably ethical position on a Ukranian natural gas company and Joe Biden’s campaign to pressure Ukraine into firing their prosecutor-general over his failure to effectively fight corruption. The president is also accused of having withheld several hundred million dollars worth of military aid to Ukraine in order to bully them into cooperating with his Attorney General and personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
Barr and Trump are attempting to defang the impeachment inquiry by hammering the false narrative that the President is the victim of an elaborate partisan witch hunt by Democrats, the “deep state,” and the media. By concocting some kind of “proof” that the Mueller probe was the result of some kind of Obama spying efforts, they hope to extend that false narrative on to the accusations Trump faces in the Ukraine scandal, in spite of the fact that Trump has all but admitted they are true.
While it’s disgraceful enough to see the President and his Attorney General go to such lengths to lie to the American people and save their own asses, they wouldn’t be able to do so with such impunity without the support of self-serving lickspittles like Lindsey Graham.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.