The Russia-collusion investigation launched by Democrats against Donald Trump even before he took office consumed the first three years of his presidency.
It’s now known that the claim that Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election was fueled in large part by a bogus “dossier” of Russian propaganda financed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
On Friday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham released declassified documents related to the Obama administration’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation, Fox News reported.
Graham called the probe, in which the “Steele dossier” was used to obtain warrants to sspy on the Trump campaign, “one of the most incompetent and corrupt investigations in the history of the FBI and DOJ.”
Graham released transcripts of interviews with FBI and DOJ officials conducted by senators last year.
“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,” Graham said in a statement Friday.
He said his committee released as much as it could.
The South Carolina senators said the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court “was lied to.”
“Exculpatory information was withheld on those being investigated,” he said. “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 senator described the leadership of the FBI under former director James Comey and former deputy Andrew McCabe as, at the least, “grossly incompetent.” If not that, he said, the two “knowingly allowed tremendous misdeeds.”
Investigators, he said, turned “a blind eye” toward any evidence that didn’t fit their claim that “the Trump campaign was colluding with foreign powers.”
The investigation was pushed forward when it should have been dropped, he said, and “the only logical explanation is that the investigators wanted an outcome because of their bias.”
The events at the time now are under review in a criminal investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham. He already obtained a conviction of a low-level operator, an FBI agent who admitted changing official documents to reflect something that was not true.
Durham’s investigation has been opposed by Democrats, including Kamala Harris, soon to be vice president.
She was among a group of 10 senators who demanded an investigation of Durham’s investigation because they alleged it was “political.”
They asked Inspector General Michael Horowitz to review the “policies that protect criminal investigations from political influence.”
Horowitz already has concluded the FBI made “significant” errors and omissions in applications for surveillance warrants on Trump aide Carter Page.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported Richard Grenell, the former director of national intelligence, earlier declassified a batch of Trump-Russia documents, including one that a senior U.S. intelligence official said is “very significant” to the origins of the Russia probe.
Grenell also declassified transcripts of December 2016 phone calls between Michael Flynn and former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
He previously declassified a list of Obama administration officials who requested the unmasking of Trump associates in intelligence reports. He also declassified an email that former national security adviser Susan Rice sent herself on her last day in office regarding a Jan. 5, 2017, meeting in the Oval Office at which the issue appeared to be the subject of debate.