Trump tells Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham to haul in Obama to testify about a 'political crime' that no one can define

ssheth@businessinsider.com (Sonam Sheth)
·3 min read
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump departs on travel to the Camp David presidential retreat from the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
President Donald Trump.

Reuters

  • President Donald Trump called on Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to have former President Barack Obama testify about "the biggest political crime and scandal" in US history.

  • Trump was presumably referring to "Obamagate," a conspiracy theory that accuses Obama administration officials of masterminding the Russia investigation and targeting Trump officials in politically motivated reasons.

  • "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," Trump tweeted on Thursday. "He knew EVERYTHING. Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, just do it. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more talk!"

  • Graham later told Politico he would not call Obama in to testify.

  • "I don't think now's the time for me to do that. I don't know if that's even possible," Graham said, adding, "I understand President Trump's frustration, but be careful what you wish for."

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President Donald Trump called on Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to haul in former President Barack Obama to testify about "the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA."

He was presumably referring to "Obamagate," a conspiracy theory sweeping the right-wing fever swamp that accuses Obama administration officials of targeting Trump officials in politically motivated investigations.

Trump and his allies have pointed to the former national security adviser Michael Flynn and accused Obama administration officials, without evidence, of targeting Flynn to undermine the Trump presidency.

Earlier this month, after the Justice Department abruptly dropped its case against Flynn, Trump celebrated the move and labeled officials involved in investigating him "human scum" and accused them of treason, a crime punishable by death.

"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," Trump tweeted on Thursday. "He knew EVERYTHING. Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, just do it. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more talk!"

Graham later told Politico's Andrew Desiderio that he would not call Obama in to testify.

"I don't think now's the time for me to do that. I don't know if that's even possible," Graham said, adding, "I understand President Trump's frustration, but be careful what you wish for."

Trump and others in the right-wing media sphere have latched onto the Obamagate conspiracy theory in recent days, saying it proves that Obama and his officials committed criminal acts and wanted to sabotage Trump after he won the 2016 US election.

But the president has struggled to name what crime, specifically, he's accusing his predecessor of.

"In one of your Mother's Day tweets, you appeared to accuse President Obama of 'the biggest political crime in American history, by far' — those were your words," Philip Rucker of The Washington Post asked Trump at a briefing earlier this week. "What crime exactly are you accusing President Obama of committing, and do you believe the Justice Department should prosecute him?"

"Obamagate. It's been going on for a long time," Trump said. "It's been going on from before I even got elected, and it's a disgrace that it happened, and if you look at what's gone on, and if you look at now, all of this information that's being released — and from what I understand, that's only the beginning — some terrible things happened, and it should never be allowed to happen in our country again."

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