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Graham starts closed-door depositions in FISA probe

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHere's who Biden is now considering for budget chief House Democratic leaders back Shalanda Young for OMB after Tanden withdrawal The Memo: Is Trump mounting a comeback — or finally fading? MORE (R-S.C.) said on Tuesday that he has started closed-door interviews as part of his deep dive into the surveillance courts and the FBI’s Russia probe.

Graham confirmed to reporters that he has started the depositions, then escaped into a Senate elevator. 

Graham is using his gavel to probe the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) surveillance warrants involving Trump campaign associate Carter Page and the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Russia's election meddling and the Trump campaign. 

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He’s requested testimony from more than 20 current Justice Department and FBI officials.

He also wants to call former officials including former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyWray says FBI not systemically racist John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Trump DOJ officials sought to block search of Giuliani records: report MORE, former Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office Trump turns his ire toward Cabinet members MORE and former Deputy Attorney General Sally YatesSally Caroline YatesBiden directs DOJ to phase out use of private prisons The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from chaotic downtown DC Biden to name Merrick Garland for attorney general MORE before his committee.

The deep dive comes amid growing concerns about the potential for abuse of the FISC after Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the Page warrant application. 

Some of President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee MORE’s biggest allies want to use a debate over soon-to-expire provisions of the USA Freedom Act to make broader changes to the surveillance court.

Trump is convening a meeting on Tuesday afternoon with lawmakers on both sides of the debate to try to break the stalemate.

Congress has until March 15 to extend three provisions of the USA Freedom Act.