Graham Says New Investigation Needed on Origins of Russian Probe

(Bloomberg) -- Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham accused the FBI of “unprofessional conduct” in its initial investigation of potential links between Russian election interference and President Donald Trump’s campaign and called for a new probe of its origins.

Now that Robert Mueller’s investigation is over, Graham said he plans to "get answers" about how the Russia probe was started and whether it was used as an excuse to spy on Trump’s presidential campaign. He urged Attorney General William Barr to appoint a new special counsel to examine the issue.

"Was it a ruse to get into the Trump campaign?" Graham, a Trump ally, said at a news conference Monday morning. "I don’t know but I’m going to try to find out."

Graham accused the FBI of "abuse" and "shady behavior." He said he also will look into the handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state, saying former FBI Director James Comey’s announcement “did affect” the 2016 election.

The South Carolina Republican said he’s been calling since late 2017 for a special counsel to look into whether whether a secret warrant was abused for political purposes and whether a "counter-intelligence investigation was opened up as a back door to spy on the campaign" of Trump.

Graham said he plans to talk with Attorney General William Barr at noon, and that he hopes the attorney general will brief the Judiciary Committee on the four-page report he released on the Mueller probe.

The public should "get as much of the report as possible" except for grand jury and classified material, and anything protected by executive privilege, Graham said.

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