Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and a close ally of President Trump, plans to work closely with Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to investigate potential abuses by the intelligence community — specifically whether the Russia probe was politically motivated, Meadows told Axios.

The bottom line: Trump allies, feeling emboldened after Attorney General William Barr's summary of the Mueller report, are teaming up to go on the offensive and conduct an oversight investigation of their own.

What he's saying: "I think the real problem is how did we weaponize the intelligence community and the FBI to create an investigation that has been conducted over a two-year period without a whole lot of fruit," Meadows said.

  • "Before a special counsel was ever established, the FBI knew that there was no evidence of conspiracy," he added. "... Based on the proof that I have, there is a strong indication that there were protocols that were breached, walls that were broken down, and candidly a lot of questions that are unanswered."

But Meadows, who unlike Graham does not serve in the majority, told Axios that his GOP colleagues in the House recognize they have "to rely on Sen. Graham for a lot of this," and said they plan to "share a number of documents" with Graham to help his investigative efforts.

  • "I've talked to Sen. Graham a couple of times," Meadows said. "We’ll actually be forwarding to his committee several binders of information with footnotes for areas that will highlight where ... and how they should look at it, and would at least give them a fast track" for how to review the documents.

The backdrop: Graham told Axios' Jonathan Swan that he promised Trump he would "take a hard look at the FISA process and intelligence operation."

  • Graham also announced during a press conference Monday that he plans to investigate whether the Justice Department and FBI influenced the 2016 election in support of Hillary Clinton, and said he will urge Barr to appoint a second special counsel.

Go deeper

Senate to vote on Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation on Oct. 26

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the Capitol on Oct. 20. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Senate will vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court next Monday, Oct. 26, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday.

The big picture: The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote this Thursday to advance Barrett's nomination to the full Senate floor. Democrats have acknowledged that there's nothing procedurally that they can do to stop Barrett's confirmation, which will take place just one week out from Election Day.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Meadows confirms Trump's tweets "declassifying" Russia documents were false

Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed in court on Tuesday that President Trump's tweets authorizing the disclosure of documents related to the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails "were not self-executing declassification orders," after a federal judge demanded that Trump be asked about his intentions.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold cited the tweets in an emergency motion seeking to gain access to special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. This is the first time Trump himself has indicated, according to Meadows, that his tweets are not official directives.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!