Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., melted down during a Senate oversight hearing Thursday, whining that Congress had better things to do than investigate the Russian collusion hoax that gripped the nation for three years.
Independent investigations of the federal agencies that ran the spy campaign against the Trump campaign and later the Trump White House revealed voluminous evidence of illegal spy warrants, fabricated evidence, and lawless and politically motivated persecutions of key Trump associates.
Sasse, however, said the Senate efforts to determine what happened and who was responsible for the hoax were “bullshit.” Right before Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was set to speak, the Nebraskan senator interjected with questions of how long the hearing would last, as “some of us have work to do.” Sasse, who hasn’t authored a single bill that became law since first coming to the Senate in 2015, did not specify what work of his was more important than conducting oversight on how the Department of Justice plans to prevent future illegal spy campaigns against American citizens.
Sasse attacked his fellow lawmakers for their alleged efforts to “grandstand for cameras” in order to produce partisan sound bites, before launching into his own grandstanding speech about the failures of the Senate hearings, characterizing the debate over federal surveillance powers as meaningless and disingenuous.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, quickly shut down Sasse’s monologuing, saying, “I don’t think they’re trolling for soundbites. I think they’re genuinely upset with what I’m doing. … I don’t think I’m trolling for a soundbite. I’m trying to defend what I think we need to be doing, as chairman.”
Graham expressed his belief that members of both parties would be engaging in the same debate, regardless of the presence of cameras, and welcomed Sasse to leave should he have better things to do.
Graham’s sentiments were echoed by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the top Democrat on the committee, who said debating committee issues out in the open produced “a better committee and a better Senate.”