Rep. Nunes: ‘Who’s Gonna Get Busted? Who’s Gonna Go to Jail?’
Head of House intelligence panel livid that IG report on Hillary probe had text messages not released to congressional investigators
A government watchdog report strongly criticizing the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation is not the last word, the top Republican on the House of Representatives intelligence panel said Thursday.
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” that his committee would continue its pursuit of documents related to the probe and the counterintelligence investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“Ultimately, this is all gonna spill out,” he said. “And then people are going to ask, ‘Well, what are you going to do? Who’s gonna get busted? Who’s gonna go to jail?”
Nunes (pictured above left) expressed outrage that the report released Thursday by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (IG) contained a damning text message that had not been turned over to his committee. A previously released text message from FBI lawyer Lisa Page to lead investigator Peter Strzok expressed dismay at the possibility that Trump might win the election.
Strzok’s answer, which had not been released until Thursday’s IG report: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”
Those were “text messages that we had been asking for since late last year,” Nunes said. “How could that possibly have been redacted?”
Nunes said that and other text messages DOJ has withheld from Congress are relevant to the committee’s investigation into Russia collusion and possible abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process.
“Why wasn’t that given to Congress?” he demanded. “Why did I find out about that today at noon? This is a classic case of obstruction. But then the question is, who’s gonna go investigate these guys?”
For the first time, Nunes shared an anecdote about a whistleblower in the FBI who alerted the intelligence committee before that election to a laptop computer relevant to the email probe in the agency’s possession.
“We had whistleblowers that came to us in late September of 2016 who talked to us about this laptop sitting up in New York that had additional emails on it,” he said. “The House intelligence committee. We had that. But we couldn’t do anything with it.”
The IG report noted that FBI agents moved slowly to investigate potentially classified emails from Clinton, when she was secretary of state, on the computer of former Rep. Anthony Weiner — who was married to Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
The report stated the IG’s office had no explanation for why FBI agents handled the Weiner laptop in that way and noted that agents decided to prioritize the counterintelligence investigation over the classified email probe.
Eventually, then-FBI Director James Comey reopened the email probe and soon closed it again, after agents concluded that the computer did not contain incriminating evidence.
Despite learning of the Clinton emails in FBI possession, Nunes said, he could not talk about it publicly because the information was classified.
“This is the game that Comey and company have been playing, is they hide behind this top-secret classification,” he said.
Despite soothing words from current FBI Director Christopher Wray, Nunes said, he fears there have been no fundamental reforms in the upper echelons of the FBI bureaucracy.
“The same people that are in charge today still believe they can run the clock out, and they’re trying to run the clock out for the rest of this Congress so we can’t finish our investigations,” he said.