A top Republican senator subpoenaed FBI Director Christopher Wray on Monday to appear before the Senate and produce “all records” related to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Russian election interference and allegations of Trump-Russia collusion.
The subpoena, a copy of which was obtained by the Washington Examiner, includes a request for the documents the FBI handed over to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz for his damning report the surveillance of onetime Trump campaign associate Carter Page and the bureau’s reliance on British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s flawed dossier. Sen. Ron Johnson, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, also demanded Wray deliver documentation connected to requests from November 2016 through December 2017 made to the General Services Administration for presidential transition records — another area where Republicans have long contended abuses took place to go after those in Trump’s orbit unfairly.
The Wisconsin Republican asked Wray to appear before the committee on Aug. 20 to hand over the host of documents, and he additionally released an 11-page letter on Monday defending the combined efforts between himself and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley to investigate alleged FBI misconduct.
“As the FBI had done since the beginning of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, rather than using exculpatory information to end their investigation, the FBI ramped it up. Confidential human sources became FISA wiretaps; top FBI officials argued for inclusion of the unverified and salacious Steele dossier to be included in the body of the Obama administration’s Intelligence Community Assessment, and finally, the FBI investigation ballooned into a special counsel investigation,” Johnson wrote. “As a result, the Trump administration was tormented for over two years by an aggressive investigation and media speculation, all based on a false narrative. This has taken a tremendous toll on our country. Had the public known what the FBI knew at that time about its Trump-Russia inquiry, it’s hard to imagine public support for continuing the investigation, much less the appointment of a special counsel four months later.”
Horowitz’s lengthy report, released in December, criticized the Justice Department and the FBI for at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against Page and for the bureau’s reliance on Steele’s unverified dossier. Steele put his research together at the behest of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, funded by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee through the Perkins Coie law firm. Declassified footnotes now show that the FBI was aware that Steele’s dossier might have been compromised by Russian disinformation. The DOJ watchdog also criticized the FBI for concealing from the FISA court potentially exculpatory information that its confidential human sources gathered during recorded interviews of Trump campaign associates.