It appears that Republicans were initially taken by surprise by these developments--perhaps due to the very desperation of the assault on our consitutional order, especially on the presidency. Last night Lindsey Graham appeared with Sean Hannity. Graham accomplishes three important things in the interview, which I've excerpted below. Those three things:
1. Graham signals Senate GOP support for Barr, urging (if that were necessary) to continue on course with his Russia Hoax investigation.
2. Graham signals to conservative supporters that dramatic developments are coming--soon, in a couple of weeks.
3. Graham explicitly ties the Ukraine Hoax to the Russia Hoax, suggesting that the "whistleblower" is connected to the "corrupt as hell" Brennan and Clapper.
With that, here is the interview:
Graham: NY Times 'trying to stop Barr' from investigating Russia probe
As the video clip begins, Hannity is concluding an interview with Rudy Giuliani by reading excerpts from a Politico article dated January 11, 2017. The Politico article details Democrat collusion with the Ukrainian government in the US election in 2016. I include the excerpts because they provide very relevant context for Hannity's interview with Senator Graham. In what follows, the portions of the Hannity questions in brackets indicate that I've summarized Hannity's words. So, we begin, with Hannity reading from Politico, an interjecting a few comments:
"January 11, 2017, Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire. Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the President Elect after quietly working to boost Clinton."
Quote, in the article, Politico! They're not concerned!
"Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office ...
"They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide [i.e., Paul Manafort] in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election ...
"And they helped Clinton's allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found ...
"A Ukrainian-American operative was consulting with the DNC, met with these officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in DC in an effort to expose ties, etc., etc., Paul Manafort, Russia, and in the end the Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort's resignation and advancing the narrative, blah, blah, blah ...Neither Hannity nor Graham emphasize the connection between the Politico account of the Ukrainian op against Manafort and the later letter by Dem senators. Here's the connection, made explicit. Politico says that the Ukrainians disseminated documents--which have now come under question--to "implicate" Paul Manafort in corrupt activities. However, after the election the Ukrainians tried to back away from that. By bringing up the letter by the three Senate Dems to the Ukrainian government in which they press Ukraine to stop their effort to back out of their election smear of Manafort and cooperate with Mueller's prosecution of Manafort. If Ukraine doesn't cooperate, say the senators, they'll see to it that aid to Ukraine is cut off.
Hannity: Mr. Mayor, thank you for being with us.
Joining us now, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham. Senator, good to see you [Graham looking very serious]. Your reaction to all of this. Why would a vice president of the United States hold out a billion dollars and say, 'You've got six hours! Fire that prosecutor'--Ukrainian prosecutor--'or else you're not getting the billion!' Why would he ever do that?
Graham: I can imagine if Mike Pence did that you might be hearing more about it. But the whistleblower investigation has been sent to the Intelligence Community. We'll look at all things Biden. I hope that somebody outside politics will do to the Biden team what they did to Trump, look at it real hard and see if a crime was committed.
But here's what bothers me tonight. This New York Times article about Barr talking to Australia is the beginning of an effort to shut down Barr's investigation to find out how this whole thing started. And let me tell you why.
I wanna say on national television. Barr should be talking to Australia, he should be talking to Italy, he should be talking to the UK, to find out if their intelligence services worked with our intelligence services improperly to open up a counterintelligence investigation of Trump's campaign. If he's not doing that, he's not doing his job. So I'm gonna write a letter to all three countries asking them to cooperate with Barr.
Now, this is a letter [holds up to the camera] sent by my Democratic colleagues in May of 2018 to the Ukraine saying, 'If you don't cooperate with the Mueller investigation we're gonna stop our aid.'
So here's what I want the American people to know: It's OK to cooperate with Mueller to get Trump but it's not OK to cooperate with Barr to find out if Trump was a victim of an out of control intelligence operation? We're not gonna have a country like that!
Hannity: [asks his stock question: Do you believe there was an illegal outsourcing of intelligence operations to these three countries to circumvent American laws, that our intelligence agencies asked those countries to spy on Americans for us?]
Graham: I don't know, but I know we're gonna find out about that in two weeks and I think Barr should be looking at that.
But I wanna make this point really clear. This New York Times article is an effort to stop Barr from looking at how this whole thing began in 2016 regarding the Trump campaign. What are they afraid of? This really bothers me a lot, that the Left is gonna try to say there's something wrong with Barr talking to Australia, Italy, and the United Kingdom. If you're worried about foreign people being involved in our elections, you oughta be worried about Christopher Steele being hired by the Democratic Party.
And here's my question: Is this whistleblower--whoever he or she may be--do they have any connection to the Intelligence Community, the old Intelligence Community, that was corrupt as hell. ... Brennan and Clapper? I'm hoping and praying that someone will look at how the counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign began! Was it based on evidence that Papadopoulos was working with the Russians, or was it based on stuff coming from countries friendly to us?
The interview continues. Graham doesn't want to respond directly to Hannity's pointed allegations of Democratic misconduct from the Politico article.
Hannity: [What about the double standard in all this?]
Graham: Well, what about whether the whistleblower or people around the whistleblower were tied to the folks that opened up the investigation against Trump to begin with? We'll see!
Later today I hope to address Sidney Powell's latest bombshell filing in the Michael Flynn case, because the confirmations of certain facts that have long been suspected are strongly connected to Barr's investigation.