GOP Approves Subpoenas Of Obama Administration Officials

Screengrab / CBS News / Youtube

Sarah Shaiman

The approval grants the committee the authority to subpoena dozens of key Obama players and a number of documents.

In a party line vote Thursday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved subpoenas of a number of Obama administration officials. 

  • According to the Hill, committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) now has the broad authority to issue subpoenas for more than 35 individuals and a number of documents. 
  • This will speed up the investigation by allowing Johnson’s committee to bypass voting on every subpoena. Now, the committee can easily subpoena former FBI director James Comey, former national security advisor Susan Rice, and former CIA director John Brennan.
  • Johnson’s investigation includes reviewing “Crossfire Hurricane,” the name given to the FBI’s investigation into election interference and the 2016 Trump campaign.
  • He claims that there was not a “peaceful and cooperative” transition between the Obama and Trump administrations. 

He added:

"The conduct we know that occurred during the transition should concern everyone and absolutely warrants further investigation. .. The subpoena authority I am requesting today will help us gather the necessary information. Hopefully, the agencies and individuals will fully cooperate, and the number of subpoenas required will be limited."

Though it was a partisan vote, some Republicans were wary to grant Johnson such great power. 

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said, “I believe there are far more urgent priorities the committee should address ... I'd also note that this matter has already been investigated by the IG and is now being invested by the Justice Department. ...I continue to be concerned that this is politically motivated.” He said he was able to narrow the scope of the subpoenas. 

Democrats, on the other hand, were furious over the decision, claiming it was an attempt to smear the president’s enemies. 

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), the ranking Democrat on the homeland security panel, said, “These actions divide our Committee at a time when Americans need us to be united. Pursued in this fashion, the work of the Committee will not be trusted. Politicizing a Committee investigation into the FBI and DOJ serves only to undermine all three institutions.”

A number of Democrats including Peters attempted to delay the subpoena vote. 

Read the full report here. 

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