GOP senators want surveillance requests from FBI Russia probe

GOP senators want surveillance requests from FBI Russia probe
© Greg Nash

Two GOP senators are asking the FBI to hand over any applications for surveillance warrants tied its probe on Russia's election interference.

Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley: 'Good chance' Senate panel will consider bills to protect Mueller Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea GOP state lawmakers meet to plan possible constitutional convention MORE (R-Iowa), who chairs the Judiciary Committee, and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTop Louisiana health official rips Cassidy over ObamaCare repeal bill Senate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions MORE (R-S.C.), who is a member of the committee, sent Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein a letter asking for any proposed or finalized applications.  

"We are writing to request information regarding FISA-related actions by the FBI and the Justice Department in the course of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, including the investigations into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians," the two GOP senators said. 

In addition to any proposed or finalized warrant applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the two senators also want the court's responses.

The Judiciary Committee is currently investigating Russia's election interference, President Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey and any interference from the Justice Department on FBI investigations. 

They argue media reports and an annual study from the surveillance court suggest the FBI and DOJ may have submitted some applications that were rejected and "proposed FISA applications that the FISC preliminarily evaluated and stated it would reject, which the FBI and Justice Department then modified and resubmitted."

"We understand that this may be part of a routine FISC process, it is important for the Committee to understand fully the context of and basis for requests. ...We have some reason to believe these processes have been used in these investigations," they wrote. 

Potential surveillance of the Trump campaign has been under a spotlight since Trump claimed on Twitter, without evidence, that he "just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory."

The FBI obtained a FISA warrant to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, according to a Washington Post report.

The Guardian separately reported earlier this year that the FBI applied, and was turned down for, surveillance warrants on four Trump team members.

In addition to any proposals, applications and responses, they also want any orders from the surveillance court tied to the applications by July 11.