U.S. Senate panel approves subpoena power in Trump-Russia probe


(GRAHAM) “The motion is passed. I appreciate the discussion and the debate.”

The Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted to grant chairman Senator Lindsey Graham sweeping authority to subpoena dozens of former Obama administration officials.

Those officials - including former FBI Director James Comey and former national security adviser Susan Rice - were involved in an FBI investigation into President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and its contacts with Russia.

The probe code-named "Crossfire Hurricane," which Trump allies say was corrupt, led to the 22-month Russia investigation by then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

(FEINSTEIN) “This is really unprecedented, at least in my 26 years.”

The 12-10 vote along party lines came after Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein gave arguments against granting subpoena power to her Republican colleague:

(FEINSTEIN) “This ties the hands of the minority in any serious investigation. They do not have the authority to subpoena a witness. And I never thought we’d reach this."

(GRAHAM) "Well it would be a collaborative process but you are trying to stop me from doing something I think the country needs to do. And I’m not going to be stopped.”

Republicans have blocked Democrats from gaining authority to subpoena Trump advisers and former aides, including his current attorney Rudy Giuliani and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Democrats view the current Senate probe as a political ploy to harm Trump rival Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.

Biden's campaign chairman is among the Republican subpoena targets.