Trump calls on Senate to force Obama to testify about Flynn, Russia probe

President Trump on Thursday urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to force former President Barack Obama to testify about the Russia investigation into his 2016 campaign.

Trump — who on Wednesday questioned the honesty of former veep Joe Biden following reports that the presumptive Democratic nominee and other top Obama administration officials had been involved in the effort to “unmask” ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn — has been using the term “Obamagate” since the Justice Department dropped Flynn’s case.

On Thursday, Trump tweeted that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) should call Obama because he “knew EVERYTHING.”

He tweeted: “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. He knew EVERYTHING. Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, just do it. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more talk!”

Spokespeople for Graham and Obama did not immediately reply to The Post’s requests for comment, although, in an interview with Politico, Graham signaled he was not willing to haul the former president before Congress.

“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.”

On Wednesday, Graham told The Post that he would be holding hearings about a Jan. 5, 2017, meeting in the Oval Office where Obama startled then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates by informing her that Flynn, a Trump transition adviser, had conversations in December 2016 with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Graham told The Post that former FBI Director James Comey and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper “definitely” will be called as witnesses. Comey and Clapper gave Congress conflicting testimony about who briefed Obama about Flynn.

Yates, who ran day-to-day operations at the Justice Department, which includes the FBI, first learned of the calls from Obama.

The Justice Department moved to drop its case against Flynn last week, saying there was misconduct by investigators in the case. Flynn pleaded guilty in late 2017 to lying to the FBI but this year sought to withdraw the plea. A judge still must rule on the request.

The Washington Post first reported Flynn’s Russia contacts, but it remains unclear if any of the officials involved in the unmasking were the direct sources for the story.

It also remains unclear who told Obama about Flynn’s calls.

Flynn, a former Army general, briefly served as White House national security adviser before Trump fired him, saying he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his calls with Kislyak. Flynn says he did not intend to lie to the FBI or Pence and the vice president recently said he’s now inclined to believe him.

Flynn’s calls were made with the knowledge of other officials and the FBI had transcripts. A recently disclosed note from former FBI counterintelligence director Bill Priestap — after a meeting with Comey and then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — read: “What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”

Trump and other Republican leaders say Obama may have had disproportionate influence in the Flynn case as part of a broader anti-Trump effort.

The FBI moved to close an investigation into Flynn a day before the Oval Office meeting. Then-FBI official Peter Strzok salvaged the probe with a theory about Flynn violating the never-used Logan Act of 1799. Strzok later conducted an interview with Flynn where he allegedly lied.

In pleading guilty, Flynn avoided charges for work as an unregistered lobbyist for Turkey. He also agreed to cooperate in an investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. Special counsel Robert Mueller subsequently found no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.

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