by WorldTribune Staff, September 16, 2020
A Senate committee on Wednesday authorized subpoenas for former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as part of the committee’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia hoax.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee also approved subpoenas for several other Obama administration officials relating to the committee’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation, the Department of Justice inspector general’s review of that investigation, and the “unmasking” of U.S. persons affiliated with the 2016 Trump campaign, transition team and the Trump administration.
The committee, chaired by Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, also authorized subpoenas for Sidney Blumenthal, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, 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, and former Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough.
The panel also approved a subpoena for former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith – who 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.
The Senate committee further authorized subpoenas for “the production of all records” related to the FBI’s original Russia investigation and the DOJ inspector general’s probe for James Baker, 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; and Stefan Halper, who the FBI inserted to spy on the Trump campaign.
The committee also authorized subpoenas to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for the production of all records related to the process of “unmasking” U.S. persons or entities affiliated “formally or informally” with the Trump campaign, the Trump transition team or the Trump administration from June 2015 through January 2017.
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 U.S. citizens’ identities are supposed to be protected if their participation is incidental and no wrongdoing is suspected. However, officials can determine the U.S. citizens’ names through a process that is supposed to safeguard their rights.