TICK TOCK: GOP Votes to Give Graham Broad Subpoena Power in Obamagate Probe

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to subpoena over 50 witnesses as Republicans step up their investigation into the 2016 Russia probe.

By a 12-10 vote, Republicans on the panel gave Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) sweeping authority to subpoena the individuals to testify, many of whom include high-profile Obama administration officials. Documents detailing what Obama knew at the time of the probe were also ordered to be turned over.

“I find myself in a position where I think we need to look long and hard about how the Mueller investigation got off the rails,” Graham said on Thursday. “This committee is not going to sit on the sidelines and move on.”

President Donald Trump has called for former president Barack Obama, himself, to be called before the panel to testify.

“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,” the president tweeted. “He knew EVERYTHING. Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, just do it. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more talk!”

So far Graham has indicate that he is not ready to take such a drastic step just yet.

“It’d be a bad precedent to compel a former president to come before the Congress,” Graham said. “That would open up a can of worms and for a variety of reasons I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

WITCH HUNT: FBI Ignored Exculpatory Evidence to Proceed With ‘Aggressive’ Investigation of Trump, says Barr

WASHINGTON– Attorney General William Barr came out swinging against the FBI Tuesday, claiming the agency ignored exculpatory evidence which would have cleared President Donald Trump of any wrong doing in order to proceed with it’s investigation against him.

In an interview with Fox News, Barr said the FBI launched a “very aggressive investigation” into the Trump campaign which led the way to the Russia probe.

“I think before the election, I think we were concerned about the motive force behind the very aggressive investigation that was launched into the Trump campaign without — you know, with a very thin, slender reed as a basis for it,” Barr said. “It seemed that the bureau was sort of spring-loaded at the end of July to drive in there and investigate a campaign.”

“There really wasn’t much there to do that on, and that became more and more evident as they went by,” Barr added, “but they seemed to have ignored all the exculpatory evidence that was building up and continued pell-mell to push it forward.”

The attorney general said effort to investigate Trump following the election remained “intense” even after it became “painfully obvious” there was little basis to do so.

“The other area of concern is that after the election, even though they were closing down, some of it as we’ve seen in the [Michael] Flynn case and say there’s nothing here, for some reason they went right back at it, even at a time where the evidentiary support or claimed support, like the dossier, was falling apart,” Barr said. “And it’s — it’s very hard to understand why they continued to push and even make public in testimony that they had an investigation going, when it was becoming painfully obvious, or should have been obvious to anyone, that there was nothing there.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, who has been investigating the Russia probe’s origins, says he intends to find out what FBI officials knew in regard to information that may have excluded Trump, who knew it and when.

“I believe it goes to the very top, and I’m going to get to the bottom of it,” Graham said Sunday during an appearance on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” “and that means Sally Yates and Rosenstein, and McCabe and Comey are all going to come before the committee and they’re going to be asked, ‘What did you know and when did you know it?’”

GRAHAM TO MATTIS: ‘Back Off Mad Dog. Trump Not to Blame for America’s Problems’

WASHINGTON — Senator Lindsey Graham on Thursday swung back at retired Gen. James Mattis over his recent criticisms of President Donald Trump’s handling of race riots in the United States.

Mattis, in a written critique of Trump published in The Atlantic, slammed Trump, claiming America’s Commander-in-Chief is fanning the flames of racial hatred.

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”

“It is so fashionable to blame President Trump for every problem in America and he can be a handful and he can do better,” the South Carolina Republican responded during an interview with Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.”

“The one thing I would tell Gen. Mattis that from the time President Trump wakes up to go to bed there’s an effort to destroy his presidency,” said Graham. “[Presidents] George W. Bush and George H. W. Bush used the military to support the police in Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict, and the Insurrection Act has been used.”

“I would ask Gen. Mattis to look at the behavior of the politicians in these cities and see if you can find fault with them,” Graham continued. “To Gen. Mattis, I think you’re missing something here, my friend. You’re missing the fact that the liberal media has taken every event in the last three and a half years and laid it at the presidency. I’m not saying he’s blameless, but I am saying you’re buying into a narrative that I think is quite frankly unfair.”

Mattis, a Marine general who once served as Secretary of Defense for the Trump administration, resigned in December 2018 to protest President Trump’s handling of the conflict in Syria.

TRUMP: ‘Sorry. Dems can’t impeach me for creating the best economy in American history’

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday railed against the latest call from Democrat Rep. Al Green to impeach him.

“’Democrat Texas Congressman Al Green says impeachment is the only thing that can prevent President Trump from re-election in 2020,'” Trump tweeted Monday morning.

“In other words, Dems can’t win the election fairly. You can’t impeach a president for creating the best economy in our country’s history. Also, there are “’No High Crimes & Misdemeanors,'” the president continued. “No Collusion, No Conspiracy, No Obstruction. ALL THE CRIMES ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE, and that’s what the Dems should be looking at, but they won’t. Nevertheless, the tables are turning!”

Green (D- Tx), has repeatedly called on the president to be impeached on grounds of corruption.

“He will say the Democrats had an overwhelming majority in the House and they didn’t take up impeachment,” Green said during an interview with MSNBC over the weekend. “He will say that we had a constitutional duty to do it if it was there, and we didn’t. He will say he’s been vindicated.”

Democrats are still reeling from a report released by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office weeks ago clearing the president from accusations that he colluded with Russian officials to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Despite Mueller’s report, many Democrats have continued to accuse the president of wrongdoing.

Republican lawmaker Lindsey Graham warned Democrats last November that attempting to impeach President Trump would only backfire.

“If they want to impeach President Trump, I’d give them some advice,” Graham told Fox News at the time. “Been there, done that with Clinton, didn’t work out for us. I would think twice about it. It will blow up in their face.”

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‘I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE’: John McCain tells all about boozy night with Hillary

Washington, D.C. — Arizona Senator John McCain is telling all in a new book about his life in politics, “The Restless Wave”.

In one of the most shocking chapters of the book, McCain writes that he once feared for his life after a night of downing vodka with former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

According to McCain, 81, the “wild night of partying” occurred when he traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan in February of 2005 with Clinton, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, and a few other colleagues.

“This was a trip that saw a pleasant evening’s repast become an urban legend that recounted a vodka-drinking competition she and I are alleged to have had in Tallinn,” McCain begins the story.

“I don’t drink very much, and I never have. I have one or two drinks on the weekend or when I’m out to dinner with friends, and my drink of choice is vodka,” McCain admits.

But, “we did go out to dinner in Talinn….and we did have vodka”.

After multiple rounds, McCain says he had difficulty in carrying out his official duties the following day.

“After twenty minutes, I was struggling to stay awake,” McCain writes. ” I turned to my aide, Richard Fontaine, and whispered that I thought I was going to die, and asked him to figure out some way to get us out of here.”

McCain’s revelations follow an admission by Clinton that she often hit the bottle for comfort after losing the 2016 presidential election to Republican challenger Donald Trump.

“Look, I took a lot of walks in the woods, I spent a lot of time cleaning closets and playing with my dogs, I drank my fair share of Chardonnay,” Clinton told “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon. “I did what I thought would help.”

And in a recent tell-all, politics reporter Amy Chozick also claimed that had Clinton won, she would have been the “booziest” President since FDR.

“The Restless Wave” is due to hit store bookshelves on May 22.

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‘I’LL BE BACK’: CANCER STRICKEN MCCAIN VOWS TO RETURN TO SENATE

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Arizona Senator John McCain, who was diagnosed this week with an aggressive form of brain cancer, says he’s faced tougher challenges in his life and doesn’t intend to let his diagnosis keep him for long off the senate floor.

“I’ve been through worse,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R)- SC says McCain told him during a telephone call Wednesday night.

“”God knows how this ends, not me,” Graham told reporters after speaking with McCain. “But what I do know is this disease has never had a more worthy opponent.”

McCain, who currently serves as chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, an aggressive cancer, after having a blood clot removed from above his left eye last Friday.

Graham says he called McCain, who is currently resting at his Arizona home, on Wednesday night to offer words of comfort and support but that McCain quickly turned the discussion toward healthcare and the National Defense Authorization Act.

“Literally, it went five minutes until we turned away from what I think most people have a hard time absorbing and focused on what he loves the best,” Graham said.

Graham, who has worked with the Vietnam war veteran for years and formed a deep friendship while working side by side on the Senate floor, added that it was McCain who wound up encouraging him to stay strong.

“‘No more woe is me, Lindsey,’” Graham recalled McCain telling him after he began choking back tears during their conversation. “He’s yelling at me and to buck up. So I’m going to buck up.”

“He’s coming back,” Graham said. “I think they got it. He’s going to go through radiation and chemo. I’m not a doctor. It may come back and he’ll fight it again. But right now he’s in good spirits. It was a real tough operation. But John is ready to come back.

In a statement via Twitter, John McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, who serves as a political commentator for Fox News spoke of her shock over her father’s diagnosis and her prayers for his swift recovery. “My love for my father is boundless and like any daughter I cannot and do not wish to be in a world without him. I have faith that those days remain far away,” she said.

McCain, 80, was held prisoner of war in North Vietnam war camp for five and a half years during his service in the military. He was released on March 14, 1973 and shortly thereafter began his political career. He has served in the House and Senate since 1982.

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NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR THREAT ‘PRIORITY ONE’ AS SENATE IS BRIEFED ON ESCALATING TENSIONS

WASHINGTON, D.C. — One hundred Senators were called to the White House on Wednesday during a nearly unprecedented event to be briefed on rising tensions between the United States and North Korea.

According to a report published by Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-nuclear-usa-senate-idUSKBN17Q1LR), the briefing, which began at 3:00 pm EST, was originally scheduled to take place in the Capitol building but was moved to the White House at the request of President Trump.

The Senators are reportedly being briefed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who will chair the meeting, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis on the latest developments in North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and the threats that it’s leader, Kim Jung-un, has made against the United States. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats will also participate in the briefing.

The meeting comes on the same day that local governments throughout the Washington, D.C. area are participating in “full-scale” terror attack drills in response to the developing conflict. The drills are being carried out in multiple locations throughout the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia and Maryland suburbs at the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R)-South Carolina, discussed the North Korea briefing during a dinner Monday evening at the White House with President Trump, and told reporters on Tuesday that his fellow colleagues will be advised on Trump’s plan to respond to North Korea’s recent acts of aggression.

“It’s clear to me that this president will not allow North Korea to develop an [intercontinental ballistic missile] with a nuclear weapon on top to hit America,” said Graham. “And I think the senators are gonna hear that tomorrow night.”

Sen. Ben Cardin, (D)-Md., the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Reuters that he hopes that North Korea’s recent hostilities can be countered without military action.

“It’s (the location of the meeting) their choice,” he said of Trump’s meeting request. “I hope that we hear their policy as to what their objectives are, and how we can accomplish that hopefully without dropping bombs.”

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PREPARING FOR THE WORST: D.C. PLANS ‘FULL SCALE’ ATTACK DRILL AS WAR WITH NORTH KOREA LOOMS

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Washington leaders have ordered a “full-scale” terror attack drill set for the nation’s capitol on Wednesday in light of mounting tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, federal officials have confirmed.

In a press release on Tuesday, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments stated (https://www.mwcog.org/newsroom/2017/04/24/full-scale-exercise-focused-on-preparing-for-complex-terror-attacks-to-include-national-capital-region-first-responders-emergency-managers/) that law enforcement officers and first responders have been ordered to participate in an exercise “designed to prepare for the possibility of a complex coordinated terror attack in the National Capital Region.”

Scott Boggs, managing director of Homeland Security and Public Safety at COG said the drill will include hundreds of police and first responders in addition to dozens of actors.

“Law enforcement officials practice and exercise their skills on their own regularly because that’s the best way to ensure we are always ready to respond quickly and professionally,” Boggs said in a statement. “On April 26, we’ll go one step further and stage a very realistic emergency event involving multiple sites and actors posing as the casualties. However, there is no reason for residents to be alarmed because the exercise will occur in a controlled environment.”

The drill will be held across six sites in D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland.

The drill is being held on the same day the president has asked all members of Senate to attend an emergency meeting at the White House where they will be briefed on the escalating conflict with North Korea.

After a meeting with the president, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told reporters that even if North Korea has developed the technology for a preemptive nuclear strike, Trump will not allow that to happen.

“If I were North Korea, I would not underestimate President Trump’s resolve to stop them from getting a missile to hit our homeland,” he said.

Tensions between the United States and the rogue state have risen sharply in recent weeks as a series of North Korean missile tests have prompted dire warnings from President to watch who they provoke, adding that “all options are on the table” – including military strikes – to curb the North Korean leader Kim Jung un’s nuclear ambitions.

In a show of force, president Trump ordered a fleet of U.S. war ships with nuclear capability to stand by at the Korean border. The latest vessel, the USS Carl Vinson, is scheduled to arrive in the Sea of Japan within days, American Vice President Mike Pence said on Saturday.

But as of Tuesday, the communist leader remains defiant.

“Now that we possess mighty nuclear power to protect ourselves from US nuclear threat, we will respond without the slightest hesitation to full-out war with full-out war and to nuclear war with our style of nuclear strike, and we will emerge victor in the final battle with the United States,” the North’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

The official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said on Saturday in a commentary that North Korea would not hesitate to launch “full out war” against the U.S., if provoked (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/04/north-korea-mad-170422145639890.html).

“The US has now gone seriously mad. It is mulling frightening the DPRK and achieving something with nuclear strategic bombers, nuclear carriers, etc,” Rodong Sinmun said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic Republic of Korea.

“However, the army and people of the DPRK will never be browbeaten by such bluffing. Under the situation where the US hurts the DPRK by force of arms, we have nothing to be bound to. The DPRK will answer to such war moves and provocations with pre-emptive strike of its own style and a great war of justice for national reunification.”

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RICE DENIES KNOWLEDGE: DEFIANT FORMER OBAMA OFFICIAL FACES GROWING CALLS TO TESTIFY UNDER OATH

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Susan Rice, the embattled former Obama administration official at the center of the growing unmasking scandal, says she did nothing wrong during her time at the White House and denies that she revealed the names of Trump transition members that were obtained during surveillance of then president-elect Trump.

Speaking publicly on Tuesday for the first time since the scandal broke, Rice, who infamously took a political beating for falsely claiming that an internet video was the cause behind a bloody attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, said she “absolutely” did not order the unmasking of individuals for political purposes, and that she revealed the names of no one.

“The allegation is that somehow Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes, that is absolutely false,” Rice told MSNBC before adding that sometimes such a request would be necessary for an investigation.

sometimes, in that context, in order to understand the importance of the report and assess its significance, it was necessary to find out, or request the information as to find out who that U.S. official was,” Rice continued.

Despite her claims of any wrongdoing, Republicans have come out on attack, publicly calling for the former diplomat to be compelled to testify on the matter before Congress.

“She needs to testify under oath,” Sen. John Cornyn, (R)-Texas, a member of both the Senate Judiciary and Select Committee on Intelligence, Tweeted on Tuesday.

Appearing on Fox News on Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R)-S.C., who also serves on the Judiciary Committee, said “when it comes to Susan Rice, you need to verify, not trust.”

Sen. Rand Paul, (R)-Ky, echoed Graham’s comments by saying that, at this point, Rice should be under subpoena.

During an appearance Tuesday on Hugh Hewitt’s radio program, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), also a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said “Susan Rice is the Typhoid Mary of the Obama administration foreign policy. Every time something went wrong, she seemed to turn up in the middle of it.”

Cotton also said there was “no doubt” that Rice should be the subject of a committee hearing and vowed that the Intelligence Committee “ought to review…and will review” both Rice’s alleged actions to see if criminal charges against her should be placed on the table.

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