WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Transcripts from the Senate investigation into the handling of the Russia investigation were released Friday by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham.
The transcripts are of interviews conducted with 11 people he referred to as “bipartisan staff.”
The probe dates back to 2016, when the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report finding Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“I consider the Crossfire Hurricane investigation a massive system failure by senior leadership, but not representative of the dedicated, hardworking patriots who protect our nation every day at Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice,” Sen. Graham (R-S.C.) said in a statement.
The interviews were conducted from Tuesday, March 3, 2020 to Thursday, October 29, 2020.
“The transcripts released today are valuable for one reason: They confirm that the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Russian election interference and Trump campaign ties to Russia was entirely justified. That’s the same conclusion reached by DOJ Inspector General Horowitz last December when he completed his own two-year investigation,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a statement.
President Donald Trump called the investigation “a hoax.”
Read the documents for yourself below.
Read the documents for yourself
Sen. Lindsey Graham statement
“I consider the Crossfire Hurricane investigation a massive system failure by senior leadership, but not representative of the dedicated, hardworking patriots who protect our nation every day at Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice.
“As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have decided to release all transcripts of depositions involving the committee’s oversight of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. We have released as much material as possible, but some classified material has still been withheld.
“I appreciate all those who participated in the depositions and their candor. They have charted a path to allow us to reform the system.
“I believe that Crossfire Hurricane was one of the most incompetent and corrupt investigations in the history of the FBI and DOJ.
“The FISA court was lied to. Exculpatory information was withheld on those being investigated. The investigators, with some notable exceptions, were incredibly biased and used the powers of law enforcement for political purposes. The subjects of the investigation had their lives turned upside down. It is my hope that counterintelligence investigations will be reined in and this never happens again in America.
“The leadership of the FBI under Comey and McCabe was either grossly incompetent or they knowingly allowed tremendous misdeeds. There was a blind eye turned toward any explanation other than the Trump campaign was colluding with foreign powers. At every turn the FBI and DOJ ran stop signs that were in abundance regarding exculpatory information.
“The FISA warrant applications against Carter Page were a travesty, and those who signed them have acknowledged that if they knew then what they know now, they would not have signed it.
“It is hard to believe that the senior officials at the FBI did not know that the Steele Dossier had been disavowed by the Russian subsource. It is equally hard to believe that the warnings from the CIA and other agencies about the reliability of Christopher Steele and the dossier were not known to senior leadership. It is my hope that the Durham report will hold those accountable for the travesty called Crossfire Hurricane.
“There was no ‘there’ there. The investigation was pushed when it should have been stopped and the only logical explanation is that the investigators wanted an outcome because of their bias.
“Former FBI Director Comey and his deputy Mr. McCabe, through their incompetence and bias, have done a great disservice to the FBI and DOJ, and the senior DOJ leadership who signed off on the work product called the Crossfire Hurricane investigation have created a stain on the department’s reputation that can only be erased by true reform.
“I hope that the media will look closely at what happened and examine these documents, but I am not holding my breath.
“I appreciate the hard work of Inspector General Horowitz who uncovered the massive abuses of Crossfire Hurricane. His team should be proud of the work they did, as it will be used over time to reform the DOJ and FBI.
“I’m proud of the Judiciary staff and the work product produced by the Senate Judiciary Committee. I am disappointed that Democrats did not take it more seriously, but I do believe what the committee did will pave the way for much-needed reforms regarding future investigations.
“I will be pursuing reforms of counterintelligence investigations and warrant applications, and hope that my Democratic and Republican colleagues can find common ground on these matters. I also hope and expect that FBI Director Wray will continue the reforms he has started. It is hard to believe that something like Crossfire Hurricane could have happened in America.
“The bottom line is that going forward we must have more checks and balances when it comes to political investigations. We must have more meaningful sign-offs on warrant applications, and we need to restore the trust to the American people in this system.”SEN. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein Statement
“The transcripts released today are valuable for one reason: They confirm that the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Russian election interference and Trump campaign ties to Russia was entirely justified. That’s the same conclusion reached by DOJ Inspector General Horowitz last December when he completed his own two-year investigation.
“Testimony from these witnesses – along with other witnesses the committee heard from during several hearings – confirms five key points.
1. “The FBI properly opened Crossfire Hurricane after learning the Trump campaign appeared to have advance knowledge of Russia’s plans to release emails harmful to Hillary Clinton. The possibility the campaign knew of Russia’s plans to interfere in the 2016 election created a significant counterintelligence concern. Multiple witnesses said the FBI would have been derelict had it not investigated.
2. “Anti-Trump bias did not affect the FBI’s work on Crossfire Hurricane. IG Horowitz likewise found no evidence of bias, and no witness in the chairman’s investigation provided such evidence.
3. “Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russia during the 2016 presidential transition created a counterintelligence threat, and the FBI was correct to investigate him.
4. “Errors in the FBI’s applications for FISA surveillance of Carter Page were serious and FBI Director Wray is taking steps to address them. But the FISA errors and the so-called ‘Steele Dossier’ played no part in the decision to open the Russia investigation or in its conclusions.
5. “Special Counsel Mueller’s appointment was appropriate and necessary following President Trump’s efforts to obstruct Crossfire Hurricane, including his decision to fire former FBI Director Comey. Mueller uncovered sweeping and systematic Russian election interference and more than 100 contacts between members of the Trump campaign and Russia. His findings confirm the importance of the FBI’s investigation.
“More than four years have passed since the FBI opened Crossfire Hurricane, and multiple investigations – including a separate bipartisan investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee – have confirmed the FBI’s actions were justified. It’s time to turn the page on Crossfire Hurricane and President Trump’s false claims about it.”Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)