Graham demands info about 2018 FBI Russia briefing, says bureau misled Congress

Graham said the briefing outline purveyed inaccurate information which the federal law enforcement agency knew to be false

Updated: August 12, 2020 - 10:51am

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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham has sent FBI Director Christopher Wray a letter demanding information about a 2018 briefing the bureau gave the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Russia collusion probe.

Graham, R-S.C., said that the law enforcement agency's briefing outline, which was recently declassified by Attorney General William Barr earlier this month, conveyed inaccurate information to senators that agents knew to be false. 

Graham's letter  identified three statements in the briefing outline he said were known by the FBI to be untrue. He said that the Steele Dossier's Primary Sub-source in 2017 made statements during interviews that undercut the validity of the dossier.

"The result of those interviews was that the Primary Sub-source largely discredited the dossier and the way that Steele reported and characterized the information the Primary Sub-source had given him," Graham said in the letter. "Yet, in the outline of FBI’s briefing to the Intelligence Committee, it states that: (1) the Primary Sub-source 'did not cite any significant concerns with the way his reporting was characterized in the dossier to the extent he could identify it'; (2) '[a]t minimum, our discussions with [the Primary Sub-source] confirm that the dossier was not fabricated by Steele'; and (3) the Primary Sub-source 'maintains trusted relationships with individuals who are capable of reporting on the material he collected for Steele.'"

"Each of these statements is clearly inaccurate based on information uncovered as part of my investigation into Crossfire Hurricane and the 2019 report on Crossfire Hurricane and the Carter Page FISA applications by the Office of the Inspector General," Graham said. "More importantly, however, is the fact that, based on its interviews with the Primary Sub-source, the FBI knew each of these statements was inaccurate at the time they were included in the outline for the briefing of the Intelligence Committee."

Graham demanded that Wray provide a list of every FBI worker who participated in the creation of the 2018 briefing outline, as well as "all documents and communications that were relied upon to draft that outline."

He also called for Wray to supply "the name and position of each individual at FBI who attended the briefing and the name and position of the primary briefer," as well as "all documents and communications that outline or were otherwise used by individuals at the FBI to brief congressional committees or members of Congress regarding Crossfire Hurricane, the Steele dossier, or the Carter Page FISA applications."

The senator wants all of this information by Friday.