Politics

Senate Panel Approves Subpoenas For ‘Spygate’ Figure Stefan Halper, 40 Others

REUTERS/Erin Schaff

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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A Senate committee voted along party lines on Wednesday to authorize depositions and subpoenas for 41 individuals as part of a review of the Trump-Russia investigation.

The vote authorizes Sen. Ron Johnson, the Republican chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, to subpoena Stefan Halper, a former University of Cambridge professor who served as a confidential source for the FBI during Crossfire Hurricane, the name of the Trump-Russia counterintelligence investigation.

The committee also approved issuing a subpoena for Steven Somma, an FBI counterintelligence investigator who served as Halper’s handling agent. A Justice Department inspector general’s report released on Dec. 9 faulted Somma for numerous errors during Crossfire Hurricane.

The Senate committee voted in June to issue subpoenas for 35 people on Johnson’s witness wish list, but Democrats raised a procedural issue that required a new vote on Wednesday. (RELATED: GOP Senator Seeks Subpoena For ‘Spygate’ Professor)

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, the top Democrat on HSAGC, voiced his opposition to the subpoenas ahead of the vote on Wednesday. He accused Johnson of leading a politically-motivated investigation aimed at helping President Donald Trump.

FILE PHOTO: Former FBI Director James Comey is sworn in prior to testifying before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Files

Former FBI Director James Comey is sworn in prior to testifying before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The committee voted eight to six to authorize the subpoenas.

Johnson has sought interviews with former FBI officials who led Crossfire Hurricane, including James Comey, Andrew McCabe, James Baker, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

He is also seeking depositions for former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Also on the list are Cody Shearer and Sidney Blumenthal, two longtime Clinton allies who circulated a dossier that accused Donald Trump of illicit sex acts in Russia. The allegations are similar to those in the dossier by former British spy Christopher Steele.

Jonathan Winer, a former State Department official, obtained the so-called Shearer dossier from Blumenthal, and in turn shared it with Steele. Steele passed the report to the FBI.

Johnson also plans to subpoena Winer as part of his investigation.

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