by Chuck Ross
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Sunday that he has been denied access to interview an FBI agent and FBI analyst who met with a key source for the Steele dossier who disavowed the salacious document.
Graham has sought interviews with the FBI case agent and supervisory intelligence analyst to discuss their interview in January 2017 with the primary source for Christopher Steele, the former British spy who investigated the Trump campaign for Democrats.
Steele’s source disputed many of the allegations attributed to him in the dossier, which the FBI used to obtain surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. The FBI and Justice Department failed to disclose those red flags in applications to federal judges for authority to surveil Page.
“I made a request to interview the case agent and the intel analyst…and they’re denying me the ability to do that,” Graham said in an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“I’m going to keep working the system.”
Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, did not say whether the FBI or Justice Department have blocked his request to interview the FBI employees.
Graham is considering a subpoena for 53 current and former government officials as part of a sweeping review of the investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible ties to the Russian government.
Graham has said he wants to get to the bottom of how information from the source was handled at the FBI and Justice Department.
“The question is did the case agent and intel agent refuse to tell the system about exculpatory information? Does the fault lie with two or three people, or was it a system out-of-control?” Graham said on Fox News.
“Here’s what I think. Every time there was a stop sign for Carter Page or Flynn, the system moved forward because the people at the top did not want to stop.”
Graham said he plans to call former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to find out whether they knew that Steele’s source disputed information in the dossier.
“I find it hard to believe that McCabe and Comey did not know that the Russian subsource told the FBI in January oh, by the way, the documents you’re using to get a warrant against Carter Page, the Steele dossier, it’s a bunch of hearsay, bar talk and garbage,” Graham said.
One of the agents who took part in the initial interviews with the source is Stephen Somma, a counterintelligence investigator in the FBI’s New York field office. The IG reported faulted Somma — who is identified as “Case Agent 1” — for numerous errors and omissions in the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign.
Two Justice Department officials also took part in the interview with the Steele source and failed to disclose the information that undermined the dossier. Graham is seeking to interview one of those officials, David Laufman. Laufman served as chief of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence division through 2018.
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Chuck Ross is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.