U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have accused CIA Director Gina Haspel of withholding intelligence documents related to the FBI’s investigation of Russian government interference in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
According to the Daily Caller, Johnson and Grassley wrote a letter noting that intelligence agency officials had refused to participate in a phone call scheduled to discuss the request for the documents.
Johnson and Grassley who chair the Senate Homeland Security and Finance committees respectively, had previously asked Haspel for documents related to the FBI investigation known as Crossfire Hurricane without any response.
“More than two months later, we still have not received any of the requested records that we detailed in that letter,” wrote the senators who sent the request on July 28, asking for any CIA documents provided to the FBI.
Among the documents previously requested was any information related to dossier author Christopher Steele, FBI source Stefan Halper, and Trump campaign assistants Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.
As the Daily Caller indicated, officials also sought any information related to the CIA’s ties to the firm’s lawyers that represented candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Convention in the 2016 campaign.
According to Johnson and Grassley, they have met only once with Haspel’s staff on the issue of the applications so far, but they said, “CIA has not produced a single document in response.”
According to the research of renowned journalist Bob Woodward exposed in his book “Rage,” after Attorney General William Barr announced the investigation on the real purposes of the intelligence agencies’ review regarding the presidential campaign of then-candidate Trump, Haspel arranged an appointment with the then-Director of National Intelligence,Dan Coats.
As the Washington Examiner pointed out, both argued that the intelligence agencies had suffered a severe blow after the investigation’s announcement, questioning Barr’s intentions to go ahead with the analysis.
For Haspel, the investigation would harm the CIA’s morale, and some of its employees wondered if they needed a lawyer, as Woodward detailed in his book.
Barr was emphatic about the need to move forward with the investigation since aspects had not yet been investigated in U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut John Durham’s review, saying that it would not be disruptive. Haspel disagreed and said that it would be like a Mueller 2.0 and a “nightmare” for the CIA.
Nevertheless, both Haspel and Coats promised to provide the Justice Department with any documents that would be necessary due to a presidential order, according to the Washington Examiner.
New information has recently come to light regarding irregularities at the FBI, including new revelations about Hillary Clinton’s campaign collusion with Russia, detailing the Russian government’s knowledge of the former secretary of state’s intentions to defame then-candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
“I was told that it is Gina Haspel personally who is blocking the continued declassification of these documents that will show the American people the truth of what really happened,” said The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis.
According to Davis, Haspel held the position of head of the CIA station in London under former CIA director John Brennan during the 2016 elections. Haspel’s activity was linked to British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, the creator of the dossier that used anonymous sources to claim that Russia interfered in then candidate Trump’s campaign.
Haspel was by then the main link between Washington and London, Davis said, according to The Federalist.