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Congressional Republicans plan wave of new criminal referrals in Russia probe

As many as 10 referrals could target FBI misconduct in Flynn case, false testimony and obstruction.

Published: June 9, 2020 9:05pm

Updated: June 10, 2020 9:18am

Congressional Republicans are putting the finishing touches on as many as 10 new criminal referrals asking the Justice Department to investigate key figures in the Russia probe for misconduct ranging from perjury to illegal leaking of classified information, officials told Just the News.

The referrals have been spurred by recently declassified evidence that provided explosive new revelations about the conduct of investigators in the now-disproven Russia collusion case, including documents showing FBI agents planned to shut down their investigation of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for lack of evidence in January 2017 before they were overruled by superiors.

Other newly released evidence showed numerous Obama administration officials engaged in unmasking Flynn's name in secret intelligence intercepts during the transition period after the 2016 election and uncovered conflicts in testimonies previously given by former top FBI and intelligence community officials.

"Congress is days away from making multiple criminal referrals to DOJ related to conspiracies against Michael Flynn, crimes committed during the conduct of Crossfire Hurricane, false testimony to Congress by top Obama officials, and criminal leaks of classified information from the top rung of the IC," said a source with direct knowledge of the referrals.

The planned referrals come as the Justice Department has expanded its own criminal investigation into the conduct of current and former employees during the Russia probe.

Attorney General William Barr said this week the investigation is looking at why the FBI tried so aggressively to open and sustain an investigation into Trump's campaign before the 2016 election when it lacked the sort of evidence to justify it, and whether those efforts amounted to conspiracy to defraud the courts or violate the rights of some of the Americans that were targeted.

"I think before the election I think we were concerned about the motive, the force behind the very aggressive investigation that was launched into the Trump Campaign without — you know, with a very thin, slender reed as a basis for it," Barr told Fox News. "It seemed that the Bureau was sort of spring-loaded at the end of July to drive in there and investigate a campaign. And they — there really wasn't much there to do that on."

In a recent interview with Just the News, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said there is growing evidence that the FBI appeared to be sustaining its investigation solely to thwart the success of the young Trump presidency, hinting that some of the criminal referrals might focus on those efforts.

"It was quite literally an effort to have the country believe that he wasn't legitimately elected," Gaetz said. "And that has done far more damage to our democracy than anything the left has accused President Trump of doing."

Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), one of the key lawmakers who unraveled the failures and misconduct in the FBI probe, said last week any new referrals will be influenced by the spate of recent revelations in the classified documents.

"We now are looking at the overall Gen. Flynn investigation and how that was conducted and the rest of the Mueller team," he told Fox News. "And then, of course, as new information has come to light from the information that was declassified by acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, that information has also shown that there are other people who have lied or misled Congress or have, I think in some cases maybe, lied by omission, documents that were kept from Congress."

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