James Comey: Graham Announces Comey Will Testify on Russia Probe While Mueller Refused

Policy


Former FBI director James Comey speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Former FBI director James Comey has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 30 regarding “Crossfire Hurricane,” the counterintelligence investigation into whether President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election, Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) announced Wednesday. 

“The day of reckoning is upon us when it comes to Crossfire Hurricane,” said Graham, the Republican chairman of the Senate panel, in an appearance on Fox News.

“I appreciate Mr. Comey coming before the committee and he will be respectfully treated but asked hard questions. We are negotiating with [former Deputy FBI Director Andrew] McCabe; we are hoping to get him without a subpoena — time will tell.”

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Graham added that former special counsel Robert Mueller had declined a request to testify about his own investigation, saying he “doesn’t have enough time.” 

Ahead of Comey’s testimony, the committee will likely interview two FBI employees who interviewed Russian analyst Igor Danchenko, the primary source for Christopher Steele’s Trump dossier.

Graham has been following up on an investigation by the Justice Department inspector general that found under Comey’s leadership, the FBI had misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to get surveillance orders against former Trump aide Carter Page.

The report said the FBI used the Steele dossier as justification to surveil Page, but did not disclose that during interviews with the FBI and Justice Department in January 2017 Danchenko had warned that Steele embellished parts of the dossier. 

Graham said he aims to uncover which FBI officials were told about Danchenko’s statements during the interviews in which an FBI counterintelligence agent and a supervisory intelligence analyst took part.

“Now who did the intel analyst and the case agent tell?” Graham said. “We’re going to talk to them in the next week to 10 days.”

The case agent has been identified as Steven Somma, a veteran counterintelligence investigator in the FBI’s New York Field Office, the Daily Caller reported. Somma, who was involved in several aspects of Crossfire Hurricane, was the first FBI investigator to suggest applying for a FISA warrant against Page.

In May, Graham requested documents related to FBI supervisory intelligence analyst Brian Auten, though the FBI has declined to say whether he is the analyst mentioned in the IG report.

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