Lindsey Graham: Somebody Needs To Go To Prison For Lying to FISA Court
South Carolina Republican called restoration in rule of law
Sen. Lindsey Graham said someone needs to go to jail to restore the American people's confidence in the rules of law in the face of alleged government surveillance misconduct.
In a Fox News interview with host Sean Hannity, the South Carolina Republican called for Justice Department and FBI officials to be accountable for using an unverified dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
"Every American should be concerned about the fact that the Department of Justice and the FBI knew that the source of the document had a bias, and they did nothing to ensure the document was reliable. It's not reliable to this day," Graham said.
"If the court does not clear this up and take corrective action, then why do you expect people in the future to be deterred? If somebody doesn't go to jail, and if the court doesn't hold those who lied to the court accountable, then we will have missed a great opportunity to restore the rule of law," Graham said.
But not much is known about Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report on potential Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuses.
Sean Hannity has consistently said he believes the FBI committed "premeditated fraud" before the FISA court, and indictments are inevitable.
Hannity suggested, "we might as well just shred the Constitution" if inadequate corrective action is taken because it would be indicative of a "dual justice system."
"That will be a bad day for America to let this crap go unaddressed," Graham replied.
According to The Washington Examiner: Republicans have alleged the FBI, and the Justice Department misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court about the dossier's Democratic benefactors, which included Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and that its author's anti-Trump bias was left out of the FISA applications.
Democrats argue the Justice Department and the FBI met the rigor, transparency, and evidentiary basis for probable cause.
As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Graham has become a leading figure demanding changes be made so that Americans' rights are protected.
He told Hannity last week that the FISA court needs to “take corrective action” after being “misled” by the DOJ and the FBI, or else "we need to probably do away" with it.
Page, who left the Trump campaign before the first FISA warrant was granted in October 2016, is an American citizen who was never charged as a part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
Hannity, who said he is getting "antsy" to see if Horowitz's report confirms "what I know to be true," has been on the extreme end of a spirited discourse among conservatives about how to approach the investigation.
Trump's staunchest defenders view it as being a building block to unraveling an attempted "coup" to take down Trump's candidacy and later his presidency. Among the former officials often named for possible indictments include former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and former FBI agent Peter Strzok.