Rand Raul and Rush Limbaugh slammed Lindsey Graham for not holding hearings regarding the FISA abuse scandal or any of the other related issues. They have a point, because Graham promised to do exactly that. . Rush says it is because Graham is afraid of implicating John McCain. Rand Paul wrote this off as empty promises.
This caused me to ask a couple of questions. One is, “when was the last time a congressional hearing resulted in someone getting convicted of a crime?” Most of these hearings are a joke. Both sides do a lot of showboating and nothing actually changes. Sometimes a committee will make a criminal referral, but that just turns it over to the DOJ to start over. I really can’t remember any congressional hearing that accomplishing anything more than embarrassing someone.
It seems obvious that it would benefit Graham personally to hold these hearings. He would be a star and it would be great political theater. He certainly loves a microphone. Although Rush thinks Graham wants to protect his friend John McCain, it would seem that Graham is smart enough to hold the hearings and avoid that problem. Neither Republicans nor Democrats have much interest in dumping on John McCain. But what if there was another motive for not holding hearings?
John Durham and William Barr are obviously investigating something and it appears to be very serious. One of the core principles when conducting an investigation is to separate witnesses. They don’t want one witness to know what questions were asked of another witness. They also don’t want one witness to know what another witness said. That reduces the risk of witnesses cooperating on a false narrative. A congressional hearing, particularly a public hearing, destroys this principle.
It is far more dangerous for people like John Brennan and James Clapper to be interviewed by John Durham, behind closed doors, than it is for Brennan and Clapper to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, even when the chairman is Lindsey Graham. Perhaps, just perhaps, Graham did something remarkable and put the country ahead of his own self-interest. Perhaps he didn’t hold hearings because he knows that Durham and Barr are far more capable of conducting an investigation and absolutely more likely to hold people accountable.
It also appears that Lindsey Graham, who knows things you do not know, is confident that Durham and Barr will take decisive action. If he did not believe that, he would definitely be holding hearings. These things are impossible to predict, but actions speak louder than words. Sometimes, inaction may speak volumes.