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GOP Senate Chairman Johnson, Grassley request more Crossfire Hurricane FBI briefing notes

The request seeks to further learn Trump critic Miles Taylor's role in the probe

FBI exterior
FBI exterior
YURI GRIPAS / Stringer / Getty
Updated: November 23, 2020 - 11:33pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook


Repubican Senate chairman Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley have requested a full declassification of briefing notes that were compiled for then-FBI director James Comey summarizing the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane investigation efforts.

The request was sent late last week by the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security committee and the Senate Finance Committee chairman to Attorney General William Barr.

The specific notes that Johnson of Wisconsin, and Grassley of Iowa are requesting identify Miles Taylor – a former Trump administration official, who anonymously wrote a 2018 New York Times op-ed criticizing the president and his administration – as a possible witness into the investigation into former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. 

"Taylor previously worked for the House of Representatives and then in 2017 he joined the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), eventually rising to become then-Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s chief of staff in February 2019,
Johnson wrote. "In late October 2020, Taylor revealed that he was the anonymous author of a September 2018 New York Times op-ed titled, 'I am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration' where he stated that he intended to 'thwart' President Trump’s agenda while he was in the administration. Taylor resigned from DHS in June 2019 and shortly thereafter, in November 2019 he published a book titled 'A Warning,' which was also critical of President Trump."

The letter notes that FBI documents appear to list several meetings that occurred between Taylor and Michael Flynn's lobbying organization in 2016. 

"This heavily-redacted document suggests that the FBI spoke directly to Taylor and it also provides additional information relating to Crossfire Hurricane," states the letter. 

The senators request that the Justice Department further declassify the documents in the agency's possession so that they may understand the full scope of Taylor's involvement with the contentious investigation. 

"We believe that further declassification is appropriate at this time because, among other factors, the Inspector General’s review of Crossfire Hurricane is closed; the investigation has already been the subject of years of oversight, public hearings, and document productions; and there is a strong public interest in knowing and understanding what really transpired between and among federal government officials relating to Crossfire Hurricane. Together, these factors outweigh the need to further protect the information contained in the classified records," the senators also wrote, in addition to requesting all FBI records relating to interviews with Miles Taylor, including 302 forms and notes.