Republican Sen. Graham curious on Trump business deals

S.C. lawmaker and president clashed in Republican presidential primary

Aaron P. Bernstein—Reuters
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asks a question as former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifies about potential Russian interference in the presidential election before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on May 8.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Tuesday he wants to know more about President Donald Trump’s business dealings in relation to Russia, but that congressional investigations may have to avoid the matter if they would conflict with an FBI probe.Graham asked former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on Monday whether he had concerns about Russian ties to Trump’s business interests. Clapper said he could not comment because the issue could be a subject of an ongoing investigation.CNN reported Tuesday that Graham intended to look into Trump’s business ties to see whether any connections exist between Russia and the Trump campaign or the president’s associates.But Graham also told the network that the subcommittee, which he chairs, may have to “steer clear” of the issue if it conflicts with the FBI’s probe of Russia and the Trump campaign.He clarified later that he had not taken any new actions.”This is nothing new here,” he told reporters at the Capitol. “I’m not a prosecutor. But if you ask me if I want to know if there are any Trump business ties to Russia that are inappropriate, the answer would be ‘yes.'”Graham told CNN it would be helpful to see Trump’s tax records but that it was too soon to say whether he would be willing to subpoena them, the network said.Graham and Trump exchanged barbs in the media when both were among the 17 candidates who ran for the Republican nomination during the 2016 presidential race. Graham defended John McCain after Trump had criticized the longtime Arizona senator, and Trump responding by giving out Graham’s phone number on television.Representatives for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.