Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham is scheduling a vote that would allow him to subpoena more than 50 current and former officials who were involved in the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 US presidential campaign, as President Trump and his allies have launched a broad, election-year attack on the investigation as a “deep state” conspiracy. Graham, a close ally of Trump, is effectively turning the investigation on the investigators, asking the officials for documents, communications, and testimony about the FBI’s investigation into ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign, the AP reports. Republicans in Congress have already been probing the probe for several years, and many of the officials have already sat for extensive testimony about their roles. The Justice Department has also investigated the investigation, and an internal report released last year documented a series of problems with it.
The newest probe, though, could be the most extensive so far. Trump has focused on Barack Obama, but Graham has made clear that he won’t call in the former president. Still, Graham said last week he wanted to know “why and how the system got so off the rails,” and he announced Monday that the panel will hold a vote in early June to authorize it to compel information from those involved. Among the officials on the list are former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former CIA Director John Brennan. The list also includes some current officials who have dealt with the probe, including Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray. The June vote would not be to subpoena the officials but to authorize Graham to do so. The vote is a rare move for the panel, which has traditionally issued bipartisan subpoenas. (Much more on the move here.)