Lindsey Graham, GOP Sens turn up the heat over Durham probe; release transcripts, key docs

(Image: NBC News screenshot)

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Senator Lindsey Graham released a trove of documents from the FBI investigation into President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia, including information on applications used to spy on members of the campaign.

The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman released the newly declassified documents Thursday as part of the ongoing probe into the investigation, making public the declassified Justice Department information related to applications to surveil former Trump campaign associate Carter Page. Transcripts of conversations between another former Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, and a confidential FBI informant were also released.

(Image: MSNBC screenshot)

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rulings that were previously unreleased were also part of the slew of documents the Senate panel made public Thursday and made available at a new website set up by Graham in “efforts to increase transparency and accountability to the American people,” according to a Judiciary Committee news release.

“I’m committed to being as transparent as possible about the circumstances surrounding FISA abuse. The goal is to make sure it never happens again,” the South Carolina Republican said in a statement.

The mostly unredacted transcripts of conversations between Papadopoulos and FBI confidential human sources who secretly recorded the discussions were included. One of the encounters was from a Sept. 15, 2016 meeting in London between Papadopoulos and former Cambridge professor, Stefan Halper. Another transcript was for a lunch meeting between the former Trump aide and a friend who was serving as an FBI informant.

The transcripts, along with some documents that were released recently, showed Papadopoulos denied that the Trump campaign had been involved in hacking the Democrat National Committee’s email system, dismissing the very idea.

Papadopoulos apparently anticipated the release of the newly declassified documents as he tweeted Thursday.

His Twitter feed was replete with commentary on the events that really transpired and led to the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation, which bore the code name Crossfire Hurricane.

Last week, Attorney General William Barr said that “the evidence shows that we’re not dealing with just mistakes or sloppiness” in the Crossfire Hurricane probe. He told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham that “there is something far more troubling here.”

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, in his investigation of the surveillance of the Trump campaign and Page, cited the Justice Department and the FBI for at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” in the applications for FISA warrants against Page and also in using the unverified dossier of British ex-spy Christopher Steele.

The FISA applications were part of the document dump by the Senate panel and Graham also released a 12-page letter from the DOJ to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on several omissions in the surveillance applications.

Information from the Justice Department inspector general’s report was also released recently by Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson. That information revealed that the FBI had evidence that Russian operatives may have intentionally fed disinformation to Steele which ended up in the infamous dossier.


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