Grassley, Johnson Blast CIA Director Gina Haspel For Stonewalling Congress On Russiagate Oversight

Grassley, Johnson Blast CIA Director Gina Haspel For Stonewalling Congress On Russiagate Oversight

Two top Republican senators are demanding CIA Director Gina Haspel hand over documents requested more than two months ago following Federalist reporting that the intelligence chief is blocking their declassification until after the November election to save her job.

In July, Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin sent Haspel a letter asking the CIA director to comply with a series of oversight requests pertaining to their review of Crossfire Hurricane, the undercover FBI operation that sought to execute a deep-state coup on President Donald Trump. After months of no response, Grassley and Johnson are following up.

“The American people have a right to know the full extent of official action taken by federal officials during the 2016 campaign, the presidential transition, and into the Trump administration,” Grassley and Johnson wrote in a Wednesday letter. “The information that has already been made public reveals what might be the most outrageous abuse of power in U.S. history against a presidential candidate and sitting president. Unfortunately, many of the puzzle pieces remain hidden, and some of that information rests within your agency.”

The senators gave Haspel a Friday deadline to comply with their requests.

During her 2018 Senate confirmation hearings, Haspel emphasized her commitment to working cooperatively with Congress as it exercised a core function of its constitutional duty to oversee executive agencies:

As both a career intelligence officer and as an American citizen, I am a strong believer in the importance of oversight. Simply put, experience has taught us that CIA cannot be effective without the people’s trust, and we cannot hope to earn that trust without the accountability that comes with Congressional oversight.

If confirmed as Director, I will uphold the Agency’s obligations to Congress and ensure that oversight works on behalf of the American people.

“Your apparent unwillingness to speak with us on this matter contradicts your testimony,” the senators wrote.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials told The Federalist this week that Haspel is deliberately blocking the release of key Russiagate documents in hopes that Trump loses in November. Haspel was also formerly the CIA station chief in London under Obama CIA Director John Brennan in 2016 and 2017 while ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele pieced together the discredited dossier that would later become the basis accusing Trump of being a Kremlin agent.

“Haspel and [FBI Director Christopher] Wray both want Trump to lose, because it’s the only chance they have of keeping their jobs,” a senior intelligence official told Federalist Co-Founder Sean Davis. “They’re banking on Biden winning and keeping them where they are.”

Tristan Justice is a staff writer at The Federalist focusing on the 2020 presidential campaigns. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at [email protected]
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