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Politics Graham requests interviews with DOJ, FBI officials as part of probe into Russia investigation

23:30  14 february  2020
23:30  14 february  2020 Source:   thehill.com

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DOJ inquiry into origins of Russia investigation has shifted to criminal probe . Kevin Johnson Kristine Phillips. Barr launched the inquiry in April into whether federal investigators abused their surveillance authority as they sought to understand Russia 's interference during the 2016 presidential

The Special Counsel investigation was an investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and suspicious links between Trump associates and Russian officials , conducted by special prosecutor Robert Mueller from May 2017 to March 2019.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is requesting interviews with a slew of current and former Justice Department and FBI officials as part of his panel's probe into the department's handling of the investigation into Russia's election interference and the Trump campaign.

Lindsey Graham wearing a suit and tie: Graham requests interviews with DOJ, FBI officials as part of probe into Russia investigation© Aaron Schwartz Graham requests interviews with DOJ, FBI officials as part of probe into Russia investigation

Graham sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr on Friday asking that he make 17 officials, many of whom are identified only by title, available for interviews.

"As you are aware, the committee is continuing to investigate matters related to the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's handling of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, including the application for, and renewals of, a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [FISA] warrant on Carter Page," Graham wrote in the letter, according to a copy obtained by CBS News.

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Barr's first disclosed he was investigating the "genesis" of the FBI counterintelligence investigation into Russia 's interference at a hearing last month The deposition snippet released to the public didn't address whether Steele knew that his Russian sources could be spinning him as part of a Kremlin

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Graham notes in his letter that the committee will "additionally be directly contacting former Department officials to schedule transcribed interviews."

Graham has said he plans to call former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to testify as part of his investigation.

Graham, a top ally of Trump's, has vowed he will use his gavel to look into the origins of the Russia investigation and the decision to surveil Page, a former campaign aide.

"I'm going to get to the bottom of the FISA work process because it was an abuse of power of the Department of Justice, the FBI," Graham told CBS News on Sunday.

Graham added he would be doing "oversight of the FISA warrant system that failed."

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I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI / DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump As part of it, an agent, who has since been outed as experienced spy and academic Stefan Halper, was charged with wheedling out potentially

Five months’ worth of texts between two FBI employees working on the Trump- Russia probe have been found, the DOJ inspector general informed The content of several messages exchanged by FBI agent Peter Strzok and his paramor, attorney Lisa Page, were first reported in December, as part of a

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a damning report late last year on the Page warrant application process. Horowitz wrote that there was no evidence of political bias in the decision to open the investigation and that the bureau had an "authorized purpose" for the probe. But he also found 17 "significant inaccuracies and omissions" throughout the FBI's investigation.

Horowitz, during testimony before the Judiciary Committee, declined to say if he thought the FISA warrant applications on Page would have been accepted if the court knew everything the inspector general found during his investigation.

He also specifically said he personally would not have submitted the FISA warrant applications as they were originally drafted and submitted by the FBI.

"It had no business going in," Horowitz said.

A FISA court judge took the rare step of publicly criticizing the FBI late last year, calling the bureau's handling of the Page application as "antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described above."

"The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable," federal Judge Rosemary Collyer wrote in an order.

Russia Backs Trump’s Re-election, and He Fears Democrats Will Exploit Its Support .
WASHINGTON — Intelligence officials warned House lawmakers last week that Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected, five people familiar with the matter said, in a disclosure that angered Mr. Trump, who complained that Democrats would use it against him. The day after the Feb. 13 briefing to lawmakers, Mr. Trump berated Joseph Maguire, the outgoing acting director of national intelligence, for allowing it to take place, people familiar with the exchange said. Mr. Trump cited the presence in the briefing of Representative Adam B.

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