Chuck Grassley

United States Senator from Iowa

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Johnson, Grassley Request Review of Senate Intelligence Committee Witness Transcripts to Assist Investigation of Crossfire Hurricane, “Unmasking” During Presidential Transition

Aug 20, 2020
Washington U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, sent a letter to Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), Acting Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), to request access to SSCI’s witness transcripts to assist in the committees’ investigations.
 
The senators wrote, “As part of our investigation into the presidential transition in 2016 and early 2017, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee authorized the issuance of subpoenas, if necessary, to several individuals regarding the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation and the “unmasking” of U.S. persons or entities during the transition period. While seeking the voluntary cooperation of several prospective witnesses, several have requested—and provided permission for—us to review transcripts of their testimony before your committee because of the overlapping subject matter. The review of these discrete number of transcripts would assist in our investigation by narrowing the areas to be addressed with each witness, and may possibly even obviate the need for us to speak with certain witnesses. We also have no intention of duplicating your efforts, so we request access to these transcripts to ensure the best use of time by committee staff and the witnesses.”
 
Full text of the letter is below, and it can also be viewed here.
 
August 14, 2020
 
The Honorable Marco Rubio
Acting Chairman
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
 
The Honorable Mark Warner
Vice Chairman
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
 
Dear Acting Chairman Rubio and Vice Chairman Warner:
 
We write to request access to certain transcripts of interviews conducted and records acquired by your committee that overlap with ongoing investigations by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Senate Committee on Finance.
 
As part of our investigation into the presidential transition in 2016 and early 2017, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee authorized the issuance of subpoenas, if necessary, to several individuals regarding the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation and the “unmasking” of U.S. persons or entities during the transition period. While seeking the voluntary cooperation of several prospective witnesses, several have requested—and provided permission for—us to review transcripts of their testimony before your committee because of the overlapping subject matter. The review of these discrete number of transcripts would assist in our investigation by narrowing the areas to be addressed with each witness, and may possibly even obviate the need for us to speak with certain witnesses. We also have no intention of duplicating your efforts, so we request access to these transcripts to ensure the best use of time by committee staff and the witnesses.
 
We respect the authority of each committee to protect its interests and regulate the manner and release of its documents, but ultimately, we have the right as United States Senators under Senate Rule 26(10)(a) to access these records. We ask that you permit one designated and appropriately cleared member from each of our staff, as well as one designated member of each of our Ranking Members’ staff, the ability to review the transcripts of these witnesses. We are not asking to take possession of the transcripts, but rather will be available to review them at an agreed upon time and place. In addition, we’ve requested records relating to the CIA’s contacts with Michael Sussmann, Marc Elias, and records relating to communications between John Brennan and Senator Harry Reid. Since then, the CIA has asked that we request those documents from you.
 
Please contact either Senator Johnson or Senator Grassley personally or have your staff contact, Joe Folio or Joshua Flynn-Brown, of our respective staffs if you would like to discuss.
 
Sincerely,
 
Ron Johnson
Chairman  
Committee on Homeland Security and
Governmental Affairs
 
Charles E. Grassley
Chairman
Committee on Finance
 
 
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