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 GrassleyGOP plays hardball in race to confirm Trump's court picks Trump officials ratchet up drug pricing fight Dems angered by GOP plan to hold judicial hearings in October MORE (R-Iowa), who chairs the Judiciary Committee, and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCongress raises pressure on Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia's myopia is the cause of the Khashoggi blunder Graham on Saudi Arabia: 'I feel completely betrayed' 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.