Politics

Senate Panel Approves Dozens Of Subpoenas In Probe Of Trump Campaign Surveillance

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Thursday to authorize subpoenas for dozens of current and former government employees as part of a sprawling investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Judiciary panel, sought the subpoenas in order to investigate the FBI’s probe of Trump campaign associates, as well as U.S. agencies’ handling of the Steele dossier.

Graham released a list on May 19 of 53 potential witnesses he hopes to interview. The subpoenas also seek documents from the potential witnesses.

Several well-known former officials are included on the witness list, including former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch. (RELATED: Declassified Intelligence Report Shows FBI Withheld Key Details About Steele Dossier)

The South Carolina Republican is investigating the Obama administration’s so-called unmasking of former national security adviser Michael Flynn in intelligence reports during the presidential transition period. He is also investigating the findings of the Justice Department inspector general’s (IG) report that found that the FBI misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in order to wiretap Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide.

Carter Page, former foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign, speaks to the media after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The FBI relied heavily on the now-debunked Steele dossier in applications to surveil Page.

Graham said Sunday that he plans to ask Comey and McCabe whether they were aware that the primary source for Christopher Steele disavowed allegations in the dossier during a January 2017 interview with two FBI agents and two Justice Department attorneys.

The dossier source said Steele embellished key allegations in the dossier, the IG report stated.

The FBI failed to disclose that derogatory information in two applications to renew surveillance orders against Carter Page, according to the report.

Graham’s list includes two officials who interviewed the Steele source. One of those is Stephen Somma, the FBI counterintelligence investigator involved in several aspects of Crossfire Hurricane. Somma committed some of the most “significant” errors in the surveillance process against the Trump campaign, according to an IG report.

Graham also wants to interview David Laufman, who served as chief of counterintelligence at the Justice Department through 2018. Laufman arranged the interview with the Steele source.

Graham is also seeking access to witnesses linked to Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that hired former British spy Christopher Steele to investigate the Trump campaign. Included on the list of potential witnesses is Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr and Jonathan Winer, a former State Department official who had contact with Simpson and Steele prior to the 2016 election.

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