Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham reiterated his pledge Tuesday to look into the FBI’s opening of a counterintelligence investigation into President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign — and said he planned to contact former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos.
“We will call Papadopoulos, we’ll find out what happened,” the South Carolina Republican said at a hearing with FBI Director Christopher Wray.
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Graham added that the committee anxiously awaited a report from FBI Inspector General Michael Horowitz about the agency’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to surveil then-Trump adviser Carter Page.
“We’ll wait on Mr. Horowitz to do his report about the FISA warrant abuse but we’ll do a deep dive into the 2016 surveillance by the FBI and other organizations of campaigns,” he said.
Papadopoulos was sentenced to two weeks in jail last year for lying to FBI investigators about his contacts with a professor assessed to have Russian ties.
Since then, Papadopoulos has spent months assailing the intelligence community as a “deep state” that attempted to use him to attack Trump. He published a recent book titled “Deep State Target” and has insisted American and allied foreign intelligence agencies conspired to attempt to topple Trump’s presidency. There’s been no evidence to support these theories.
Graham said the committee would work to ensure that “there are protocols in place going forward to ensure that we don’t play politics with the law.”
When questioned by Graham about Horowitz’s integrity, Wray expressed confidence that the agency’s inspector general would do his due diligence.
“He’s objective, he’s fair, he’s professional, he’s thorough and I have no reason to doubt the integrity or the quality of the investigation he has underway,” he said.
Kyle Cheney contributed to this report.