Graham wants new probe into origins of Russia probe to be wrapped before election

Burgess Everett of Politico tweeted this morning:

Sen. Graham on timeline for his committee’s probe of Obama officials/2016 election: “We’ll go through the summer and try to get wrapped up by September, October …
“I want to do it before the election. I want to get all the information out there”

Per Axios, Graham sent a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr and acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell on Tuesday asking them to name the Obama administration officials who requested the identities of members of the Trump campaign or transition team caught up in foreign surveillance reports.

CNN reports Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said Tuesday he wants to finish up his investigation looking at the origins of the FBI’s investigation into the Russia investigation by September or October and release a public report before the election.

“I want to do it before the election — I want to get all the information out there,” Graham told reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday.

The South Carolina Republican also sought help from the acting director of national intelligence Tuesday to declassify additional information related to the “unmasking” of Americans that occurred during the Trump transition.

Graham has announced his committee plans to vote on June 4 on a broad authorization to subpoena witnesses and documents related to the FBI’s Russia investigation that became former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, and foreign surveillance warrants obtained on a Trump adviser.

Graham dismissed concerns it would look political, saying he had been “planning this for a long time.”

“I’m trying to explain to the American people what happened in Crossfire Hurricane,” Graham said, a reference to the FBI’s codename for the Russia investigation. “I gave Mueller all the space he needed to do his job. He’s done his job, we got the Mueller report, we’re going to do this by October.”

But Graham’s timeline will fuel criticisms that his probe is part of a broader effort to use levers of government on Capitol Hill and in the Executive Branch to target the President’s presumptive 2020 opponent, Vice President Joe Biden. Senate Homeland Security Chairman, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, is also moving forward with a committee vote this week to subpoena a public affairs firm that worked with Ukrainian energy company Burisma, the firm that hired Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

And Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell this month declassified documents showing officials in the Obama administration who made authorized “unmasking” requests — a process where officials can see the names of Americans hidden, or “masked,” in foreign intelligence reports — during the Trump transition.

Trump and his allies have used the information to attack Joe Biden, who was included among the officials making the unmasking requests. Trump told senators at a closed-door lunch Tuesday that they should get “tough” on the issue of unmasking, according to two sources.

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