Posts tagged with "Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)"

Graham will ask Australia, Italy, and UK to aid and abet AG Barr’s probe into Russia investigation

October 2, 2019

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) obviously is “drinking the Kool-Aid,” along with the president, the attorney general, and the secretary of state.

On October 1, The Hill reports, Graham laid out plans to send a letter asking other nations to cooperate with the Justice Department’s probe into the origins of the Mueller investigation.

Graham, during an on-air interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday, knocked a report by The New York Times that alleged that President Donald Trump had asked the Australian government to assist Attorney General William Barr as part of the DOJ investigation.

“Barr should be talking to Australia. He should be talking to Italy. He should be talking to the U.K. 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,” Graham said according to The Hill. 

“So I’m going to write a letter to all three countries … asking them to cooperate with Barr,” he added. 

Graham’s Fox News interview comes after The New York Times reported that Trump urged Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to help Barr, according to two officials with knowledge of the call. The Justice Department subsequently confirmed that Trump had contacted foreign governments at Barr’s request.

Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and has emerged as a Trump crony, blasted the Times piece, The Hill said—characterizing it as “the beginning of an effort to shut down Barr’s investigation.”

“This New York Times article is an effort to stop Barr. … What are they afraid of? This really bothers me a lot that the left is going to try to say there’s something wrong with Barr talking to Australia, Italy and the United Kingdom,” he added.

In addition to the Times story, The Washington Post reported on Monday that Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham of the District of Connecticut, who is leading the DOJ’s inquiry, met with senior Italian officials.

Barr also has reportedly requested assistance from British intelligence officials in connection with the inquiry.

Research contact: @thehill

Landmark criminal justice legislation clears Senate, 82-12

December 20, 2018

In one of the 115th U.S. Congress’s final acts—and surely one of its few bipartisan agreements—on December 17, the Senate overwhelmingly approved, by a vote of 82-12, the most significant and sweeping reform to prison sentencing laws in a generation, according to a report by ABCNews.Go.

U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee—who introduced the First Step Act along with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island)—commented, “This bill in its entirety has been endorsed by the political spectrum of America. I can’t remember any bill that has this kind of support, left and right, liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican.”

The legislation combines prison reform proposals that overwhelmingly passed in the House of Representatives earlier this year with sentencing reform provisions from the broadly bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, which was authored by Durbin and Grassley and passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in February by a vote of 16-5.

Broadly, the bill allows judges more discretion in sentences offenders for nonviolent crimes (particularly, for drug-related crimes); allows more home confinement of lower-level offenders; expands prison employment programs so that inmates can earn wages; sets up a risk assessment system to determine whether a prisoner is likely to re-offend, if released; and addresses sentencing disparities (particularly, against those of color).

The bill’s approval represents a win for President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has been a leading advocate for criminal justice reform within the administration, following his own father’s experience behind bars.

And according to ABCNews.Go, Trump’s embrace of the legislation is a departure from his tough-on-crime rhetoric. While the president in the past has gone so far as to call for the death penalty for drug dealers, according to the network news outlet, the president “has gotten on board with a bill that aims to loosen sentencing guidelines for some nonviolent drug offenses.”

Despite receiving bipartisan support, there were some skeptics., the news outlet said. Two Republicans, Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and John Kennedy of Louisiana, unsuccessfully introduced amendments to limit which types of offenders would be eligible for early-release programs and were fiercely opposed to the legislation.

This is only the beginning, according to everyone involved. Ergo, the name, First Step Act. ““When it comes to reversing the harms done by mass incarceration, the real work is going to lie with the states and with local jurisdictions,” said Wanda Bertram, a spokeswoman for the Prison Policy Initiative, a Massachusetts-based think tank focused on criminal-justice reform, told MarketWatch.

“What we’re hoping is that states look to this bill as a model for state-based reform, but they also go much further, because this is a first step, but much more is needed,” she said.

Research contact: @MKhan47