Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and panel member Lindsey Graham are asking the FBI in order to turn over some closely guarded secrets: its applications for warrants to spy on people suspected of helping Russia meddle in last year’s presidential election.
Grassley’s panel is currently investigating Russia’s election interference, along with the circumstances behind the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
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In instructions released Wednesday, Grassley (R-Iowa) and Graham (R-S.C.) asked the Justice Department and FBI to make over proposed and final applications for surveillance warrants sent to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, along with the court’s responses, regarding the FBI’s Russia probe.
The surveillance court is liable for approving requests by intelligence agencies to spy on people suspected of acting as agents of foreign powers.
Their letter cites a report while in the Guardian the FBI applied for warrants last summer to watch four individuals the Trump campaign but that your surveillance court refused the applying, asking the FBI to narrow its request. The Washington Post later reported how the FBI obtained approval to watch the communications of Carter Page, a previous foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign.
“We are emailing request the specifics of FISA-related actions from the FBI along with the Justice Department during your research of Russian interference within the 2016 election, including the investigations into allegations of collusion between Trump campaign as well as Russians,” Grassley and Graham wrote in their letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. FISA would be the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.