Graham postpones Russia probe subpoena vote as tensions boil over

TheHill reports Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) postponed a vote on authorizing subpoenas for more than 50 individuals as Republicans ramp up their investigation into the Russia probe.

Graham said he was delaying the vote to give senators enough time to fully debate the issue, as the meeting brushed up against a pre-scheduled vote on the Senate floor.

“We’re going to do what this committee needs to do, and we’re going to fight it out and we’re going to vote. And we’re not going to be done today, so I don’t see a resolution this day, if you need to go somewhere go. … I think the best thing for us to do is [to] carry this over to next week so we can have a full discussion,” he said.

He added that “we’ll get to [a] conclusion next week” on the subpoena vote.

Graham told The Hill after the meeting that he has the votes on the GOP-controlled committee to authorize the subpoenas but wanted to give members enough time to discuss the investigation first.

Graham’s announcement came after a tense moment in the committee, with multiple members yelling at each other as they tried to figure out the schedule for the meeting.

“Can we get a sense of how long we’re going to be here? … With all due respect, I don’t think anybody in private ever disagrees with me when I say that it’s bullshit the way people grandstand for cameras in here. The reality is if we didn’t have cameras in this room, the discussion would be different,” said Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).

Sasse added that “90 percent of our committees are about people trolling for soundbites.”

“I don’t think they’re trolling for soundbites, I think they’re genuinely upset with what I’m doing,” Graham countered.

When Sasse added that his criticism was aimed at members on both sides of the aisle, Graham added: “I don’t think I’m trolling for a soundbite, I’m trying to defend what I think we need to be doing as chairman.”

“I find the whole concept offensive. … If you’ve got to go somewhere else go,” Graham said.

The exchange between Graham and Sasse followed an argument between the chairman and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who were at times yelling as they debated the merits of the GOP investigation.

“This is about a president who just can’t get over it, maybe he will never will, and by a chairman who wants him to have another day to make his point about how he was mistreated,” Durbin said.

Graham interrupted to say: “With all due respect, I don’t buy what you’re saying at all.”

Graham then said the so-called Steele dossier of opposition research was used to get the surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Durbin chimed in “that is your theory” and Graham rebutted “these are facts.”

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