Over the weekend, a number of Republican lawmakers called for an investigation into former President Barack Obama and his administration’s knowledge of spying on President Donald Trump, but top GOP senate judiciary committee members have not directly called out Obama as their investigation moves forward.
Trump reacted to the recently declassified documents showing that Obama knew of details from wiretapped phone calls between Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and a Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.
In recent tweets, Trump has pointed at Obama’s involvement in the plot and labeled the new developments #Obamagate, calling for a broad investigation into the former president.
A senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), recently pushed for an investigation into what Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden knew, but did not say whether the committee would require Obama and Biden to testify.
“It’s unclear to what extent they discussed the details of the investigation amongst each other, but given all that we know now regarding the fake foundation to the inquiry, it’s time we asked. What did Obama and Biden know? And when did they know it?” Grassley said on the Senate floor on Monday.
Obama met with Biden, then-FBI Director James Comey, then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and then-national security adviser Susan Rice on Jan. 5, 2017, the day after then-FBI agent Peter Strzok rushed to keep the FBI from closing its probe into Flynn.
Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), spoke on the topic of “#Obamagate,” on Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” on Monday.
On the show, Jordan outlined a time frame in which Obama was being briefed by members of his team, including Yates, Comey, then-CIA Director John Brennan, and then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Russia-related matters. Biden was also included in the briefing.
“Those three weeks in January tell us everything, and the president is exactly right,” Jordan said. “If it can happen to him, imagine what they can do to you, to Andy, to me and more importantly, to any American citizen. That’s why this is so darn wrong.”
“Well, I think all the evidence—Jim gave you a great timeline—but all the evidence does point to coming right out of the top from President Obama on down,” Biggs said.
The congressman called the Obama administration efforts against Trump an intentional effort to undermine election results.
“This really was a conspiracy to do something we’ve not seen in American history, and that was to actually perform a coup,” Biggs said. “That’s really what this was. I mean, you can’t get to it any more succinctly than that.”
“This was an attempt to undermine the election of the people. That’s a coup,” Biggs continued. “And they were abusing their power, abusing the process, and they were using the media.”
On Tuesday morning, Trump took to Twitter to respond to Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett’s claim that Obama was involved in the set-up of Flynn.
“OBAMAGATE makes Watergate look small time!” the president wrote.
Politico reported that the Senate, at this time, would not be calling former president Obama to testify.
The Senate Judiciary Chairman is investigating the origins of the 2016 Russia investigation and is expected to call Yates and Comey to testify, but Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the committee, did not include Obama in the list of people he would call.
“I’m not anticipating calling President Obama,” Graham said, but added, “You know Barack Obama said dismissing the Flynn case compromises the rule of law, President Obama, you know what compromised the rule of law, hiding evidence from a court, altering emails, trying to manufacture crime versus investigating the crime.”
Graham said he would call on Flynn to make his case before the public and conduct oversight into the political motivations behind accusing Trump of colluding with Russia.
“I can let General Flynn talk about what his life has been like. I can give the Department of Justice a chance to explain why the case was dismissed” Graham told Jeanine Pirro on Fox Monday. “So, my job is to bring oversight to the table. Political accountability, Durham’s job is to put people in jail if they broke the law.”
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Georgia) took to Twitter to comment on the case, writing, “The abuse of power that occurred in the General Flynn case should scare every American. If they can do this to a presidential candidate–through a three-star General–they can do it to anyone.”
Correction: The date on which Strzok pushed for the case against Flynn to stay open has been corrected. The Epoch Times regrets the error.