‘We’re Not Messing Around Here,’ Nunes Warns Rosenstein, Wray

Failure to produce an unredacted copy of a key document could result in dire consequences for two key figures in the Russia collusion investigation

by Kathryn Blackhurst | Updated 11 Apr 2018 at 6:30 AM

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray will face both contempt of Congress charges and the prospect of impeachment if they fail to produce thousands of subpoenaed documents, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes warned Tuesday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”

Nunes is particularly interested in a two-page electronic communication (EC) that contains the original justification for the investigation, by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI, of allegations members of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with individuals linked to the Russian government.

“I can tell you this — we are going to get the document. We are going to get the two pages,” Nunes said. “They can either cough them up now, or it will get really complicated starting tomorrow night, and we’ll have to take all the steps necessary in order to get the documents.”

When host Laura Ingraham pressed him for details, he added that “we will have a plan to hold in contempt and to impeach — we’re not messing around here.”

Although lawmakers are prepared to take such a drastic action, Nunes predicted, "I don't think we're going to have to get there because they're going to give us the documents."

Nunes noted that months ago, when the intelligence panel first requested the two-pager, he "sent" Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) over to view the document, only to discover that it was "fully redacted" and unreadable.

"I called back several times. I had conversations with Rod Rosenstein and with Director Wray," he said. "Mr. Gowdy and the investigators went over there again, and there [were] only a few more things that were unredacted, so most of it was still redacted."

The committee is now "at a boiling point" where its members must view the complete, unredacted EC, Nunes said. The congressman said it seems that every time the DOJ and FBI "hide something from us" for "a long time," lawmakers eventually discover that "it was really bad."

"So now, just the fact that they're not giving this to us tells me that there's something wrong here," he said.

Nunes also pointed out that The New York Times and The Washington Post appear to have received and published leaked information contained within the EC before lawmakers even had a chance to view the document.

"But we haven't been able to see the EC to confirm that [information]," he said. "Somehow, The New York Times has it, the American people have read it, but the U.S. Congress does not have that information. And we deserve — we have the full right to that information."

Nunes said he expected that special counsel Robert Mueller would have been able to control the apparent flow of leaks from his team.

Nunes said he expected that special counsel Robert Mueller would have been able to control the apparent flow of leaks from his team.

"It seems like the special counsel is good at leaking but not so good at actually finding major felony leakers," he said.

Nunes claimed some of his Democratic colleagues have accused him of purposefully serving Trump in his stubborn quest to view the EC and other documents. But Nunes told Ingraham that he would be "the first person" to stand "on the steps of the Capitol" and reveal if and when he found evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

"I haven't found it yet, but I've found a whole lot of other stuff that always puts DOJ and FBI in a bad light, unfortunately," he said, accusing the DOJ and FBI of thinking "that they're above the law."

"Congress, the legislative branch, we created these agencies. They have a responsibility to give us documents when we ask for them. We have the appropriate clearances. That's why the House Intelligence Committee exists," Nunes said. "So, at the end of the day, we're going to win on this. It's just a matter of how tough they're going to make it for Congress to actually do our job under the Constitution and under the priorities that we're given."

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.

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