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

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

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMSNBC's Joy Reid pans Manchin, Sinema as the 'no progress caucus' Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists Biden defense budget criticized by Republicans, progressives alike MORE (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 ComeyJames Brien ComeyShowtime developing limited series about Jan. 6 Capitol riot Wray says FBI not systemically racist John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges MORE.

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 McCabeAndrew George McCabeJohn Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Carter Page sues over surveillance related to Russia probe McCabe defends investigation of Trump before Senate committee: We had 'many reasons' MORE, former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James ClapperJames Robert Clapper140 national security leaders call for 9/11-style panel to review Jan. 6 attack The biggest example of media malfeasance in 2020 is... Meet Biden's pick to lead the US intelligence community MORE and former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Republicans blast Pentagon policy nominee over tweets, Iran nuclear deal Online and frighteningly real: 'A Taste of Armageddon' MORE.

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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 FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinCaitlyn Jenner exploring bid for California governor: report WokeWorld comes for 'oppressor' Obama: Activists rip school being named after 'deporter in chief' Senators press for answers in Space Command move decision MORE (D-Calif.), or secure a majority committee vote.

Graham and Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonBiden picks vocal Trump critics to lead immigration agencies Trump's early endorsements reveal GOP rift The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings MORE (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 MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE’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.

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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 ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHow Democrats can defy the odds in 2022 Close the avenues of foreign meddling Pelosi planned on retiring until Trump won election: report MORE’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.