Lindsey Graham seeks authority to subpoena dozens of Trump-Russia investigators

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The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee announced on Monday that he will soon be seeking broad authorization to subpoena dozens of key officials in the Trump-Russia investigation.

Sen. Lindsey Graham said his committee will debate and vote on subpoena authorization related to oversight of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference and the Trump campaign as well as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process. The subpoenas will be discussed at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s executive business meeting on Thursday, and a vote has been scheduled for June 4.

The South Carolina Republican said the subpoenas would cover “documents and communications referenced in and testimony at a hearing or deposition of any individual named or identified by pseudonym in” DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s December report on FBI’s Russia investigation.

Graham also said the committee will vote on subpoenas covering “documents and communications related to and the testimony at a hearing or deposition of any current or former executive branch official or employee involved in” any Crossfire Hurricane “umbrella” investigations as well as records tied to “or the receipt or analysis of reports prepared by” British ex-spy Christopher Steele, the author of the anti-Trump dossier used by the FBI.

The chairman listed 53 prominent figures involved with the Trump-Russia saga, noting they may face subpoenas. The list did not include former President Barack Obama, despite President Trump’s urging.

Facing growing pressure from the Right to make good on his pledge to subpoena officials who may have knowledge of the investigation’s origins, the senator has said timing is a factor. Graham noted earlier this month that he wanted to avoid “interfering in an ongoing criminal matter,” referring to U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation of the Russia inquiry.

Graham said on Monday the subpoenas could demand documents, communications, and testimony from: former FBI general counsel James Baker; Attorney General William Barr; current FBI general counsel and Page FISA signer Dana Boente; former CIA Director John Brennan; former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinsesmith; fired FBI Director James Comey; former State Department official Kathleen Kavalec; former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe; former FBI lawyer Lisa Page; former FBI special agent Joseph Pientka; former Obama United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power; former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice; former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson; fired FBI special agent Peter Strzok; FBI Director Christopher Wray; former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates; and others.

Horowitz’s lengthy report released late last year criticized the Justice Department and the FBI for at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” related to the FISA warrants against Trump campaign associate Carter Page in 2016 and 2017 and for the bureau’s reliance on Steele’s salacious and flawed dossier. Steele put his research together at the behest of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, funded by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee through the Perkins Coie law firm. Horowitz also criticized the bureau for not sharing exculpatory information from confidential human sources with the FISA court.

Footnotes newly declassified by Barr and acting spy chief Richard Grenell show that the FBI was aware that Steele’s dossier might have been compromised by Russian disinformation.

Robert Mueller’s 448-page special counsel report, released in April 2019, said the Russians interfered in 2016 in a “sweeping and systematic fashion.” Mueller said he found “numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign” but “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government.” The special counsel also laid out 10 possible instances of Trump obstructing justice but did not reach a conclusion. Barr and Rosenstein concluded Trump had not obstructed justice.