In light of recently released documents highlighting apparent FBI misconduct in the cases of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Republicans in the House and Senate continue their efforts to get to the bottom of the matter.
On May 12, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) wrote to Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell and Attorney General William Barr calling on them to release information about efforts by Obama administration officials to “unmask” Flynn’s identity. The list was released one day later including high-level officials such as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Following the revelation, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Monday, May 18, announced that his panel will vote on June 4 on a subpoena authorization for documents, communications, and testimony from 53 current or former government officials, as part of the panel’s investigation into the abuse of the surveillance process during FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane probe.
The list of 53 former and current officials includes Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Clapper, Brennan, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and others.
The Justice Department inspector general’s report on the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane probe showed the agency committed at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” in applications for surveillance warrants against Page and relied heavily on the unverified Steele dossier to obtain the warrants.
Also on Monday, Johnson requested that the Justice Department turn over an unredacted copy of the email that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice sent to herself summarizing the Jan. 5, 2017, meeting in which President Obama apparently surprised Yates with his knowledge of the FBI’s Flynn probe.
“The significance of that meeting is becoming increasingly apparent as more and more information is declassified,” Johnson wrote. “For these reasons, it is essential that Congress and the American people understand what occurred during that January 5, 2017, meeting and how it was later characterized by administration officials. The declassification of Ambassador Rice’s email, in whole, will assist these efforts.”
In the House, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mike Johnson (R-La.) also weighed in on the new developments related to Flynn’s case. On Monday they penned a letter to FBI agent Joe Pientka, who interviewed Flynn in January 2017 and an attorney for Bill Priestap, the former assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division, to seek information and interviews.
Explosive footnotes released earlier this month, which was reportedly written by Priestap after meeting with Comey and McCabe, showed FBI agents discussing their “goal” for interviewing Flynn “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”
Where is Christopher Wray? https://t.co/XLQGPnBaB2
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) May 19, 2020