Senate

Graham announces vote on subpoenas for Comey, Obama-era intel officials

Greg Nash

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced Monday evening that his panel will vote June 4 on a subpoena authorization to review documents and communications and solicit testimony from an array of senior Obama-era officials, including former FBI Director James Comey.

Graham announced in a press release that the subpoena vote will take place as part of his panel’s investigation into “FISA abuse” and the FBI probe “Crossfire Hurricane,” which investigated contacts between Trump advisers and Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The subpoenas will cover “documents, communications and testimony from witnesses” including Comey, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan.

Under Senate Judiciary Committee rules, the chairman cannot unilaterally issue a subpoena and must either receive the consent of the ranking member, in this case Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), or secure a majority committee vote.

Graham and Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) are spearheading Senate Republicans’ investigation into whether the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign in 2016, which later evolved into former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of possible collusion between Trump advisers and Russian officials, was politically motivated.

Republicans last week touted a declassified National Security Agency document released by acting DNI Richard Grenell showing that 39 former senior Obama administration officials — including Comey, Clapper and Brennan — requested authority to know the identity of an American whose conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were intercepted by U.S. intelligence.

That official turned out to be former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Flynn later pleaded guilt to charges of lying to federal investigators, but the Justice Department made headlines earlier this month when it announced it would drop the case against him, arguing agents had botched the matter and it was unclear if the charges could be proven.

Graham has said he is interested in investigating the “unmasking” of Flynn as well as the genesis of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Trump’s campaign.

His committee on Monday said it would seek to review documents and communications related to Crossfire Hurricane and the receipt and analysis of reports prepared by former British intelligence official Christopher Steele, who was at one time employed by a law firm on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Steele’s report was later provided to the FBI, which was already investigating the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian officials. 

Graham announced the subpoena authorization will first be listed on the agenda for the committee’s executive business meeting on May 21 and the committee will vote on the subpoena authorization at its June 4 executive business meeting.

Tags 2016 election interference Andrew McCabe Crossfire Hurricane Dianne Feinstein FISA abuse Hillary Clinton James Clapper James Comey John Brennan Lindsey Graham Robert Mueller Ron Johnson
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