The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on June 4 whether to authorize subpoenas for documents and testimony from more than 50 current or former government officials, including James Comey and John Brennan, as part of the panel’s investigation into abuse of the surveillance process during Crossfire Hurricane.
The committee will debate and vote June 4 on whether to issue the subpoenas, said Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Judiciary panel.
Graham is seeking documents and testimony from 53 individuals in all.
Committee rules require Graham, a Republican, to either obtain consent from the top Democrat on the committee or to obtain a majority vote in order to issue subpoenas.
Graham is seeking documents and testimony referenced in the Justice Department inspector general’s (IG) report on the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane probe. The FBI committed 17 “significant” errors and omissions in applications for surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, the report stated.
The FBI relied heavily on the unverified Steele dossier to obtain the spy warrants.
FBI officials withheld information that undermined the credibility of the dossier and its author, Christopher Steele, the IG report noted.
Graham is seeking the testimony of any current or former government official involved in Crossfire Hurricane, or any current or former government official who handled the Steele dossier.
Graham included the following list of individuals he plans to subpoena:
Graham announced May 14 that he would be scheduling a vote on the subpoenas. He also said that he plans to hold hearings about revelations of Obama administration officials making requests to “unmask” the identity of Michael Flynn in intelligence reports.
Several of the officials that Graham listed made requests for Flynn intelligence reports. Many of the officials submitted the request while at the Treasury Department. Graham is also proposing a subpoena for Steve Ricchetti, who served as chief of staff to Joe Biden when he served as vice president. An unmasking request was submitted under Biden’s name on Jan. 12, 2017.
Graham is hoping to subpoena former FBI officials and agents who oversaw Crossfire Hurricane. Many of the proposed witnesses are well known to the public, including Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. But Graham is also requesting subpoenas for agents whose names have not appeared as prominently in the press.
One of those is Stephen Somma, an FBI counterintelligence agent who has been identified as “Case Agent 1” in the IG report. The report said that Somma was “primarily responsible” for some of the most significant errors during Crossfire Hurricane.
Somma was the agent who drafted the applications for surveillance orders against Carter Page. The IG report said that he failed to disclose exculpatory information related to Page.
Somma also took part in an interview in January 2017 with Christopher Steele’s primary source of information for the dossier. The interview was arranged by David Laufman, another potential Graham witness who served as chief of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence division through 2018.
In that interview, Steele’s source disputed many of the key allegations that Steele published in the dossier. The FBI and Justice Department withheld that information in the FBI’s final two applications to surveil Page. Because of that omission and others, the Justice Department invalidated the two FISA orders.
Author: Chuck Ross