Two Senate committees are expanding their investigations into the Obama-era scandal that involved surveilling members of the Trump campaign, which Attorney General William Barr has said amounts to “spying,” saying that they have reason to believe that they are becoming increasingly concerned that the surveillance started before the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation.
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson and Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley wrote a letter to Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell asking for the declassification of “additional information related to the unmasking of Americans around the time of the 2016 election, but also to expand the scope of our request to include information as early as January 2016.”
“Based on our investigation and recent press reports, we are increasingly concerned that the surveillance of U.S. persons affiliated with the Trump campaign began earlier than the opening of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation in late July 2016,” the letter continued. “It has become evident that the FBI, and possibly members of the U.S. Intelligence Community, were focused on U.S. persons affiliated with the Trump campaign in early 2016, if not even earlier.”
“Again, the best way to resolve these issues is to determine the truth, and to make clear to the American people what did and did not occur,” the letter concluded. “For these reasons, we respectfully request that you make available to us, as soon as possible, all information regarding the “unmasking” of U.S. persons affiliated with the Trump campaign requested by members of President Obama’s administration from January 2016 through January 2017.”
The increased pressure on the investigation follows the report that numerous Obama-era officials unmasked Michael Flynn, including then-Vice President Joe Biden.
Grassley and Johnson are dramatically expanding their request for Obama era unmasking records.— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) May 19, 2020
They want records on all Trump associates from Jan. 2016-Jan. 2017, saying they are "increasingly concerned" that surveillance began before Crossfire Hurricanehttps://t.co/KO2r72RmyC pic.twitter.com/RNtnuOk9Ss