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Graham plans to invite Mueller to testify on Russian probe

Ryan Beene, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

Sen. Lindsey Graham is preparing to invite former Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify before a Senate panel about the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to a spokesperson for the panel's Republican majority.

Graham of South Carolina, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted earlier that he would grant a prior request by Democrats on the panel -- made in 2019 -- for Mueller to appear.

He's been hinting at such a move for some time as a way to grill Mueller about the origins of the Russian probe and what many Republicans see as bias against President Donald Trump by the nation's law enforcement agencies. Two days earlier Graham described the Mueller investigation as having been "biased and corrupt."

Graham finally acted after the publication on Saturday of an opinion piece in the Washington Post, in which Mueller defended his efforts against "broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper."

Mueller wrote that former campaign operative Roger Stone, whose sentence was commuted by Trump on Friday, "remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

The comments were a rarity since Mueller was tapped to oversee the Russia probe in 2017, and departed as special counsel in 2019 once the investigation was complete.

"Apparently Mr. Mueller is willing -- and also capable -- of defending the Mueller investigation," Graham said in his tweet on Sunday.

 

On Friday Graham, who's up for re-election this year, tweeted that Trump was justified in commuting Stone's 40-month prison sentence, adding that "over time we learn how biased and corrupt Crossfire Hurricane and the Mueller probes were."

Crossfire Hurricane was the code name for the counterintelligence investigation undertaken by the FBI in 2016 and 2017 into possible links between Russia and Trump associates.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary panel wrote to Graham in May 2019 asking for Mueller to testify on his report, saying there were "at least 60 unanswered questions" they hoped the former FBI director could address.

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