President Donald Trump on Thursday strongly urged Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to call former President Barack Obama to testify before his committee about the unmasking scandal that has become known as “ObamaGate,” but the senator quickly threw cold water on the idea.
Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell this week declassified a list of Obama officials who asked to “unmask” the identity of the president’s incoming national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, and on Wednesday, Senators Chuck Grassley, (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) released the bombshell information.
The roster implicates top Obama officials, including then-Vice President Joe Biden, then-FBI Director James Comey, then-CIA Director John Brennan, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Obama’s then-chief of staff Denis McDonough.
As American Greatness’ Julie Kelly reported on Wednesday, McDonough requested his unmasking on the same day Obama held a key meeting at the White House with “all the perpetrators of the Russian collusion hoax.” It was recently revealed that during the meeting, Obama himself brought up Flynn’s infamous December 29, 2016 phone call with the Russian Ambassador. It now appears likely that McDonough was Obama’s source for the Flynn phone call information.
During a two-month period that began on election day, Nov. 8, 2016, senior Obama administration officials made 49 requests to unmask Flynn, and according to former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), those requests were only the tip of the iceberg. As Nunes first noted in March of 2017, Flynn was only one of many other Trump transition team members who were under surveillance by Team Obama.
For over a year now, Graham, the chairman of the powerful Judiciary Committee, has been promising to hold hearings to examine the spy scandal, as well as other Democrat scandals, but for some reason or other, he has been largely missing-in-action.
The last straw for the president apparently came when Graham vowed to “get to the bottom of” the unmasking scandal on Fox and Friends, Thursday morning.
“If I were a Senator or Congressman, the first person I would call to testify about the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA, by FAR, is former President Obama,” President Trump wrote on Twitter. “He knew EVERYTHING.”
He added: “Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, just do it. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more talk!”
If I were a Senator or Congressman, the first person I would call to testify about the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA, by FAR, is former President Obama. He knew EVERYTHING. Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, just do it. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more talk!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 14, 2020
Graham shot down the president’s tweet, telling Politico, “I don’t think now’s the time for me to do that. I don’t know if that’s even possible.”
Later Thursday, the senator released a statement saying the Judiciary Committee will hold “multiple in-depth hearings” in June “regarding all things related” to the FBI Russia investigation (dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane”).
“No president is above the law,” Graham said in the statement. “However, the presidency has executive privilege claims against other branches of government. … As to the Judiciary Committee, both presidents are welcome to come before the committee and share their concerns about each other. If nothing else it would make for great television. However, I have great doubts about whether it would be wise for the country.”
Obama will get away with community organizing the biggest spy scandal in American history because Republicans like Graham fear that calling a former president to testify before congress would set a bad precedent.
The senator told Politico that he was “greatly concerned by the precedent that would be set by calling a former president for oversight.”
“I understand President Trump’s frustration,” he added. “But be careful what you wish for.”