by Chuck Ross
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, subpoenaed FBI Director Christopher Wray last week for all documents related to Crossfire Hurricane, the investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia.
The subpoena, issued on Aug. 6, calls for Wray to produce all of the documents related to the probe by Aug. 20.
Johnson is also demanding that Wray hand over all records that the FBI provided the Justice Department’s office of the inspector general for its scathing report on Crossfire Hurricane.
The Wisconsin Republican also announced on Monday that he intends to subpoena Jonathan Winer, a former State Department official who served as a key liaison between dossier author Christopher Steele and State Department officials before the 2016 election. Winer arranged a meeting for Steele at Foggy Bottom in October 2016 and was also a background source for multiple news articles that contained Steele’s unverified allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Johnson and several other Senate Republicans are investigating various decision that the FBI made in its probe of the Trump campaign, as well as the origins of the Steele dossier.
A report from the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general issued Dec. 9 said that the FBI failed to disclose damning information about the Steele dossier in applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders against former Trump aide Carter Page in 2016 and 2017.
The bureau relied heavily on the dossier, authored by Christopher Steele, to argue that Page was acting as an agent of Russia. The FBI failed to verify any of the core allegations against Page and other Trump associates.
Republican lawmakers have long expressed frustration with Wray over the production of documents related to Crossfire Hurricane. House Republicans have threatened multiple times to subpoena the Trump appointee but never pulled the trigger.
One question Republicans have raised is why information about Crossfire Hurricane has taken years to disclose. They have also noted that most of the evidence that has been turned over has proved embarrassing for the FBI.
Text messages between Peter Strzok, the lead investigator on Crossfire Hurricane, and Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer during the probe, revealed that the pair exchanged anti-Trump text messages while working on the investigation.
On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, another Republican digging into the origins of Crossfire Hurricane, released a declassified FBI memo of a Feb. 14, 2018, briefing provided to the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the primary source for Steele.
The memo said that the FBI had no reason to believe that Steele fabricated any information in the dossier. Graham accused the FBI of lying to the Senate panel, noting that Steele’s source, Igor Danchenko, told the FBI in January 2017 that he did not recognize some of the information in the dossier that Steele attributed to him.
Danchenko told the FBI that he provided Steele with “rumor and speculation” about Donald Trump and members of the campaign.
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Chuck Ross is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.