Appearing on Wednesday evening on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Republican Sen. Rand Paul expressed concerns over special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Comedian Colbert asked whether the Kentucky politician believes that a memo prepared by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes should be made public. The memo reportedly alleges that high-ranking FBI and DOJ officials misled a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court in obtaining a warrant to spy on members of the Trump campaign.
Sen. Paul said that he is concerned that the American intelligence committee can spy on everyone at any time. "I’m concerned. My biggest concern is over something that Madison said at the beginning of our country, he said that ‘men are not angels’ and that’s why we need more oversight of government,” Paul told Colbert. “Our intelligence community has the authority to listen to every phone call. Everyone’s phone calls could be listened to if they wanted to. Everyone in your e-mails can be tracked.”
Sen. Paul continued with his quotes of James Madison and expressed fears about possible political bias within the intelligence community. He said that checks and balances should include “a judge and a warrant.” Paul said that Mueller may have too much power, while bringing up the FBI investigation that led to the indictment of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. He added that the charges against Flynn’s were not related to any alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
“So I think because men are not angels and women aren’t either, that there can be bias that are into the intelligence community, so we have to be very, very careful that someone gives them a check and balance and that check and a balance should be a judge and a warrant against, you know, I fought with this collection of FISA data that we should go to a judge to get to that,” Paul continued. He also told the show host that it is easy for federal agents to trick a person into making a false statement if they have a copy of recorded phone conversations.
“I’m concerned that we’re give too much power to a prosecutor who was supposed to be going after Russian collusion,” Paul said. “So far he’s gotten somewhat over. He recorded General Flynn and then got him to say something inconsistent with what was recorded on the phone call. Think about it from a personal perspective, if I have a thousand phone calls of Stephen Colbert, what I could learn? And then I can interview you, and if you say anything inconsistent with what you said on your private phone calls, I could put you in jail.”
Last November, Paul was attacked by a neighbor while mowing his lawn. He was also among senators and congressmen who were shot at by a deranged gunman last spring in Virginia. He told Colbert, “I've been shot at. I've been mugged. I'm hoping 2018 is a better year.” He said, "We are channeling a lot of rage on both sides, politically and otherwise, grass clippings, you name it. We're unhappy with each other. And I think sometimes we see people on television and we think that person’s not human. They don't hurt, you know.”
When Colbert asked the senator for a possible motive for the attack, Paul said that his neighbor may have had a "rage reaction" and "lost it." Paul has had a painful recovery since the attack, suffering two bouts of pneumonia. He told Colbert that he still has difficulty breathing at night.