Senate Judiciary Committee leader Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has punted on the prospect of serving subpoenas in a wide-ranging Russia probe. This coming after two hours of debate, as he decided to hold off on issuing the more than 50 summons to former Obama officials until the panel convenes again next week on June 11th.
Sen. Graham stated, “We’re going to do what this committee needs to do, and we’re going to fight it out and we’re going to vote. And we’re not going to be done today, so I don’t see a resolution this day, if you need to go somewhere go. … I think the best thing for us to do is [to] carry this over to next week so we can have a full discussion.” He also announced, “we’ll get to [a] conclusion next week” on the subpoena vote.
But Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska pushed back. “Can we get a sense of how long we’re going to be here? … With all due respect, I don’t think anybody in private ever disagrees with me when I say that it’s bullshit the way people grandstand for cameras in here. The reality is if we didn’t have cameras in this room, the discussion would be different,” he told.
And expressed, “90 percent of our committees are about people trolling for soundbites.” Chairman Graham countered, “I don’t think they’re trolling for soundbites, I think they’re genuinely upset with what I’m doing. Then added, “I find the whole concept offensive. … If you’ve got to go somewhere else go.”
This followed an argument between Graham and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) as they debated the merits of the GOP investigation. “This is about a president who just can’t get over it, maybe he will never will, and by a chairman who wants him to have another day to make his point about how he was mistreated,” he claimed. As the chairman cracked, “With all due respect, I don’t buy what you’re saying at all.”
Ranking Member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) declared her dissent. “I can’t accept this dragnet authority to conduct politically motivated investigations,” she announced.
Fox News reported:
The committee on Thursday was slated to vote on whether to give Graham the power to issue subpoenas, which would cover documents, communications and witness testimony in a public setting or behind closed doors for any “current or former executive branch official or employee involved in the ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ investigation.”
Under committee rules, Graham cannot unilaterally issue a subpoena. The committee chairman can only issue a subpoena with the consent of the ranking member, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., or by a committee vote.
Clearly, there is much dissension in the ranks.