GOP Sens Ask Intel IG To Look Into ‘Apparent Leaks’ During Russia Probe

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) speaks with reporters in the Capitol on Thursday, May 17, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
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May 6, 2019 2:36 p.m.

Top Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) sent a letter to the intelligence community’s inspector general, pushing for a probe of “apparent leaks” from its agencies during the Russia probe.

The letter focuses on “leaks” of information to the media that are referenced in text messages exchanged between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who have been vilified by Republicans for exchanging anti-Trump text messages while working on special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into the Trump campaign and Russian election meddling.

“We are looking forward to the Justice Department Inspector General’s forthcoming reports reviewing potential FISA abuses and leaks from FBI personnel in order to gain a better understanding of what happened during the Russia investigation,” the two wrote. “However these texts and emails demonstrate the need to investigate leaks from agencies or entities other than FBI. Accordingly has the intelligence community office of the inspector general initiated an investigation into these apparent leaks? If not, please explain why not.”

The move signals top Republicans will continue their investigate-the-investigators response to Mueller’s probe, rhetoric that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been spinning since the redacted version of the report was released last month. During his appearance before Graham’s committee last week, Attorney General William Barr told lawmakers that the Justice Department was reviewing various steps taken at the onset of the Russia probe.

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Read the letter to Inspector General Michael Atkinson below:

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