by Daveda Gruber
On Wednesday the Republican-led Senate Homeland Security Committee voted for authorization to issue subpoenas as part of its review of the origin of the Russia investigation and there are some names we all know.
Subpoenas, which were voted on eight to six by the committee in favor of them, for former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey and other Obama administration officials are now authorized.
The subpoenas will be issued as part of the review into the origins of the Russia investigation.
The committee authorized its Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., to issue notices for taking depositions, subpoenas, for records, and subpoenas for testimony to individuals. The subpoenas are connected to the panel’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation and the Justice Department inspector general’s review of that investigation.
“Crossfire Hurricane” is the bureau’s internal code name for the Russia probe, which began in July 2016.
It also encompasses the “unmasking” of U.S. persons affiliated with the 2016 Trump campaign, transition team and the Trump administration.
Johnson got the authority from the committee in June to send subpoenas as part of the panel’s investigation into the origins of the Russia probe and the process of “unmasking.”
Other subpoenas that were authorized are for:
Former Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough
Former FBI counsel Lisa Page
Former FBI agent Joe Pientka
Former ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power
Former FBI director of counterintelligence Bill Priestap
Former White House national security adviser Susan Rice
Former FBI agent Peter Strzok
Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith
Clinesmith has pleaded guilty to making a false statement in the first criminal case arising from U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the investigation into links between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.
As well, the committee authorized subpoenas for “the production of all records” related to the FBI’s original Russia investigation and the Department of Justice Inspector General’s probe and the unmasking situation.
Unmasking occurs after U.S. citizens’ conversations are incidentally picked up in conversations with foreign officials who are being monitored by the intelligence community. The identities of U.S. citizens are legally supposed to be protected if their participation is incidental and no wrongdoing is suspected.
Those who have been authorized for this are:
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe
DOJ official Bruce Ohr
FBI case agent Steven Somma
Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Teftt
Former deputy assistant attorney general Tashina Gauhar
Halper is a Cambridge University professor who has reportedly been deeply connected with British and American intelligence agencies. He has been notably reported as a confidential source for the FBI during its original investigation concerning Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz was reviewing Halper’s work during the Russia probe last year. His work with the FBI prior to the start of that investigation will also be looked at.
Halper had contacted several members of the Trump campaign in 2016. Former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and former aide Carter Page were two of the people contacted.
Halper’s role as an FBI informant was leaked to the media in May 2018, it led to accusations from President Trump and Republicans that the Obama administration had used Halper as part of an illegal effort to spy on the Trump campaign, which are now being called “Spygate” and “Obamagate” by Trump allies.
Denials of Russian collusion made by Page and Papadopoulos were recorded but were never passed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Page was the subject of several Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants during the Trump campaign.
During the 2016 campaign, Halper contacted several members of the Trump campaign, including former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and former aide Carter Page. Page also was the subject of several Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants during the campaign
The director of the Office of Net Assessment at the Defense Department, James Baker, was at the helm of the department when they awarded government contracts to Halper. That included one in September 2015.
Authorization was given by the committee to subpoena Baker.
Johnson’s first subpoena was issued last month demanding that the FBI produce all records related to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.
The subpoena states that it includes, but is not limited to, all records provided or made available to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice for its review. This is in reference to Horowitz’s review of abuses related to the FISA warrants.
In addition the subpoena demands that all records related to requests to the General Services Administration or the Office of the Inspector General for the GSA for records of the presidential transition from November 2016 through December 2017.
Democrats have consistently opposed the committee’s inquiry, arguing it is being conducted for political reasons.
It appears that a whole slew of people will be subpoenaed to testify. When? That’s a good question.
It appears that a lot of these people are banking on COVID-19 to be around until after the election.
Keep tabs on those who use the virus as a means to avoid testifying too quickly and are stalling. They’re hoping for a Biden-Harris win.
That won’t help if Trump wins re-election and if we win the House and hang on to the Senate.
The wheels of justice, especially when it concerns politics, move slowly and we’re still waiting for Durham to indict someone other than giving Clinesmith a slap on the hand.