by Chuck Ross
Republican Senators are pressing FBI Director Christopher Wray to provide documents related to the Trump-Russia probe.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham on Monday sent a request to Wray for documents related to a briefing that the FBI provided to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) in February 2018 regarding the primary source for former British spy Christopher Steele.
The request follows on the heels of a subpoena that Sen. Ron Johnson, who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, issued to Wray for all documents related to Crossfire Hurricane, the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign.
Johnson’s subpoena calls for Wray to turn over the documents by Aug. 20.
According to Graham, the FBI memo of the Senate briefing indicates that the bureau downplayed discrepancies between what Steele reported in his dossier and what the primary source for the document, Igor Danchenko, told the FBI in a series of interviews in 2017.
Graham has accused the FBI of lying to Congress about the dossier both in the briefing to the Senate intelligence panel as well as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
In his letter to Wray, Graham said that the FBI chief arranged the Feb. 14, 2018 briefing about the dossier source to the leaders of SSCI.
“What is particularly troubling about this briefing is that the outline of the briefing indicates that at least three material misrepresentations regarding the Primary Sub-source and what he told the FBI about the Steele dossier in 2017 were made to the committee,” Graham wrote.
The memo prepared for the briefing said that Danchenko “did not cite any significant concerns with the way his reporting was characterized in the dossier to the extent he could identify it.” It also said that the FBI believed “that the dossier was not fabricated by Steele.”
Graham said that the statements are “clearly inaccurate” based on information revealed in a Justice Department inspector general’s report of Crossfire Hurricane.
“More importantly, however, is the fact that, based on its interviews with the Primary Sub-source, the FBI knew each of these statements was inaccurate at the time they were included in the outline for the briefing of the Intelligence Committee,” the Republican said.
Graham asked Wray to provide the name and position of everyone at the FBI involved in drafting the briefing outline, as well as those who attended the briefing.
While it is unclear who took part in the briefing, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was interviewed by the Senate intelligence panel on Feb. 14, 2018, according to a report from the committee.
Senate Republicans have largely avoided criticizing Wray, who took over as FBI director in August 2017. House Republicans have been more openly critical of Wray, accusing him of stonewalling the production of documents related to Crossfire Hurricane.
“It is well past time that you show the leadership necessary to bring the FBI past the abuses of the Obama-Biden era,” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson wrote in a letter to Wray on May 4 following the revelation of FBI documents in the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
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Chuck Ross is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.