The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted on June 4 to authorize its chairman to issue subpoenas as part of an inquiry into the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign, which eventually evolved into the Russia investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, which was scheduled to voted on a separate set of subpoenas as part of its own inquiry into the matter, delayed its vote until next week.
The subpoena authorizations cover an extensive list of people connected to Crossfire Hurricane, the FBIs codename for the investigation of the Trump campaign. Prior to the vote, the committee struck out authorizations to subpoena the Department of Justice Inspector General (DOJ IG). Sen. Ron Johnson, the committees chairman, explained that the subpoenas were pulled to ensure that inspectors general can carry out their investigations without concern from witnesses that their testimony may eventually be obtained by Congress.
The judiciary committee will lead the way in the dual effort, while the oversight committee will call witnesses for follow-up questioning and further inquiries, Johnson has said. The oversight committee will focus on the the transition period between the election and inauguration of President Donald Trump.
The judiciary committee kicked off its inquiry a day earlier with the interview of former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who played a crucial role in the events that led up to the appointment of Mueller as special counsel. Rosenstein told lawmakers that he was not aware of a number exculpatory details about the targets of Crossfire Hurricane at the time he authorized the renewal of an application for a warrant to spy on a former Trump campaign associate.
Rosenstein also revealed that then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe kept him in the dark for a week about a series of consequential memoranda drafted by then-recently-fired FBI Director James Comey. Rosenstein said that McCabe also failed to brief him about internal FBI discussions regarding the investigation of high-profile officials, an apparent reference to McCabes opening a formal investigation into the president himself.
Democrats on both committees opposed the inquiries, arguing that the efforts are a political errand for Trump. The Democrats say the efforts are redundant considering the extensive inquiry completed by the DOJ IG, Michael Horowitz.
The IG found that the FBIs applications to surveil Trump campaign associate Carter Page contained 17 significant errors or omissions. Horowitz detailed extensive evidence of bias among the key officials who conducted the investigation but found insufficient evidence to establish that the bias played a role in any of the investigative decisions.
Horowitz has said that it is inexplicable that such a large volume of errors or omissions could have been made by three separate, handpicked FBI teams conducting the highest-profile FBI investigation in years.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants on Page are one part of a broader pattern of questionable activities by senior law enforcement and intelligence officials. The committees will also look into the rampant unmasking requests targeting people affiliated with the Trump campaign. The Director of National Intelligence recently declRead More From Source