U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, is still raising concerns he says he has about how the FBI handled an investigation into President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
According to The Post and Courier, Graham wrote the agency after reports that U.S Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, was warned a few years ago that one of her staffers was a suspected Chinese spy. The letter asks the FBI about how the situation with Feinstein was handled.
Graham said he is grateful for the work the FBI did to weed out the Feinstein staffer, but does not understand why the agency did not do the same thing when suspicions were raised about potential Russian infiltration of the Trump campaign.
“It appears that rather than provide then-candidate Donald Trump or Trump Campaign officials with a defensive briefing to inform them of the FBI’s concerns, the Bureau opted to use a confidential informant and a dossier funded by the Democratic National Committee to launch an unprecedented counterintelligence investigation into the Trump Campaign,” Graham wrote in the letter.
The “Steele Dossier” compiled the findings of a private investigation hired first by a conservative news outlet, then later the Democratic National Committee into the background of then-candidate Trump. The dossier was later turned over to investigators.
In the letter, Graham said he wants to know what the FBI has in place to warn current and future political candidates about foreign efforts to interfere in their campaigns. It outlines three focused questions:
“*Why did the bureau brief Feinstein about a threat from one of her staffers but not Trump?”
“*What steps did the FBI take to inform Trump about possible improper ties between his staffers and the Russian government?”
“*What policies does the FBI have in place to warn current and future political candidates about foreign efforts to infiltrate their campaigns?”
The FBI investigated Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who led the campaign from June until August 2016, over his former lobbying connections and potential illegal payments from Russian sources. Special Counsel Robert Mueller eventually took over the case and helped convince a grand jury last year to file indictments for conspiracy, failing to report foreign bank accounts and failing to register as a lobbyist. Arguments in Manafort’s trial concluded last week and his case is now before the jury.