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Graham starts closed-door depositions in FISA probe

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump's biggest political obstacle is Trump The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden support, gas tax questions remain on infrastructure 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 ComeyMystery surrounds Justice's pledge on journalist records NYT publisher: DOJ phone records seizure a 'dangerous incursion' on press freedom Trump DOJ seized phone records of New York Times reporters MORE, former Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinHouse Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week Media leaders to meet with Garland to discuss leak investigations MORE and former Deputy Attorney General Sally YatesSally Caroline YatesSally Yates: I never thought that I'd be saying, 'Yeah, go Liz Cheney' ABC lands first one-on-one TV interview with Garland since confirmation Appointing a credible, non-partisan Jan. 6 commission should not be difficult 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 TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum 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.