Senate

Graham says he will call Mueller to testify before Senate panel about Russia probe

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Sunday that he will agree to a Democratic request to have former special counsel Robert Mueller testify about his investigation into Russia's election meddling and the Trump campaign.

"Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have previously requested Mr. Mueller appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about his investigation," Graham said in a statement.

"That request will be granted," he added. 

The statement from Graham, which was also posted to Twitter, comes after Mueller in a Washington Post op-ed defended his team's findings on President Trump's associate Roger Stone after Trump moved to commute Stone's sentence.

Stone "remains a convicted felon, and rightly so," Mueller wrote.

He added that he felt compelled to "respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office. Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes."

Graham referenced the op-ed, saying, "Apparently Mr. Mueller is willing - and also capable - of defending the Mueller investigation."

Democrats have revived their to calls for Mueller to testify about the roughly two-year investigation after Republicans on the Judiciary Committee voted to give the South Carolina senator broad subpoena authority as part of his investigation into the Russia probe, which he has increasingly cast doubt on. 

Graham first indicated during a committee meeting last month that he would support Democrats' request to call Mueller to testify, though he also appeared to warn them against it. But Democrats argued that if Republicans were going to target the Mueller probe, the former special counsel should be able to publicly explain and defend decisions made during the investigation. 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) noted during a Judiciary Committee meeting last month that Democrats on the panel had previously requested that Mueller be called to testify about findings. She said there were "at least 60 unanswered questions related to both Russian interference and obstruction of justice. We believe Robert Mueller would be best-suited to answer these and other questions." 

Graham said at the time that he was "very open-minded" to calling someone from the Mueller team to testify but added, "If you want to call [Mueller], I will. ... I would just ask you to think twice about that."

Feinstein, however, defended the request and described Mueller as "a man of extensive brain cells."

"I think this side would very much like to have him here," she added.

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