Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said late Monday that Congress is finally “getting closer and closer” to receiving the information demanded by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on two government investigations.
“Really where we are at, a lot of people ask, ‘Well what’s left?’ We still have information that we need from the Department of Justice,” Nunes said on Fox News’ “Hannity.” “However, I will say as of tonight we are getting closer and closer to having the information that we need.”
Nunes was referring to the FBI’s 2016 investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a home-brew email server to transmit and receive classified information — and allegations that aides to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russian interests.
The Nunes panel, with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on the Judiciary, has been seeking and subpoenaing DOJ documents related to those investigations for months.
But the DOJ repeatedly has failed to comply fully with the congressional subpoenas and has often instead released heavily redacted versions of the documents, much to Nunes’ frustration.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and nine other House members even went so far as to introduce articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in July for his failure to comply fully with the subpoenas. The impeachment attempt ultimately went nowhere.
Although Nunes admitted that the DOJ eventually either allowed congressional investigators to review the subpoenaed documents or turned over many of them “in one form or fashion or another,” he warned that “In the big picture, we need these documents declassified.”
“That has to get done,” Nunes insisted. “There is still more that has to be done, and we are, of course, months and months late.”
Nunes particularly is focused on the FBI’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant, and subsequent renewals, to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The FBI used the anti-Trump Russia dossier, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, transmitted by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, and funded by both the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), to obtain and then renew the warrants.
Nunes has urged Trump to declassify the heavily redacted FISA warrant and renewals the DOJ released in July. The lawmakers accused the Democrats and the media of being “in on this from the beginning,” referring to the controversial elements surrounding the FISA warrants and Steele.
“The media in 2016 had all this information, too, so they know that this information was being generated by the Clinton campaign,” Nunes insisted. “You had DOJ, FBI, all of those casts of characters, that were meeting regularly with Christopher Steele.”
Nunes also urged that “you have Bruce Ohr, the [former] number four at the Department of Justice, who I think is going to become a more and more important figure in this. A lot of the investigators and reporters should be looking closer at Bruce Ohr.”
Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, also worked for Fusion GPS, the company hired to conduct the opposition research on Trump for the dossier. Lawmakers have requested documents from the FBI’s interview with Bruce Ohr as well.