Photo: Carlos Barria-Pool/Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced on Monday that his committee will debate and vote on June 4 on a broad subpoena authorization that would allow him to compel testimony from Obama-era officials as part of an investigation into the origins of the Russia probe.

Why it matters: The authorization will mark a significant step in the Senate Judiciary Committee's review of possible FBI misconduct as it relates to both surveillance abuse and unsubstantiated allegations that the Russia investigation was politically motivated.

  • President Trump and many of his conservative allies have spent the last few weeks promoting #Obamagate, or the conspiracy theory that President Obama ordered the investigation in order to undermine the incoming administration.
  • The Justice Department is currently conducting its own criminal investigation into the origins of the Russia probe. Attorney General William Barr said Monday that he does not expect it to result in charges against Obama or former Vice President Joe Biden.

Details: The subpoena, if approved, will authorize Graham to compel documents, communications and testimony from dozens of officials and relevant witnesses from outside the government, including:

  • Current FBI director Christopher Wray
  • Former FBI director James Comey
  • Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe
  • Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
  • Former CIA director John Brennan
  • Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates
  • Former UN ambassador Samantha Power
  • Former national security adviser Susan Rice

Between the lines: Graham shot down a request from Trump last week to compel Obama to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  • Graham said his committee will host hearings "regarding all things related" to the Russia investigation, but that he is "greatly concerned by the precedent that would be set by calling a former president for oversight."
  • "[B]oth presidents are welcome to come before the committee and share their concerns about each other. If nothing else it would make for great television. However, I have great doubts about whether it would be wise for the country," he added.

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a statement on his Facebook page Saturday stating that it "is never and under no circumstances acceptable to interfere with another country's sovereign elections."

Why it matters: National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina said Friday the Russian government had taken action to "denigrate former Vice President Biden" before November's election and that a "pro-Russia" Ukrainian lawmaker was "spreading claims about corruption" to "undermine" the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

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The big picture: National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina said in a statement Friday that the Russian government is "using a range of measures" to "denigrate" Joe Biden ahead of the election. China and Iran would prefer that Trump is defeated, according to Evanina.

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Why it matters: Since the 2016 election, reporters and researchers have uncovered over 1,200 instances in which political groups use websites disguised as local news outlets to push their point of view to Americans.