“WE NEED THESE DOCUMENTS DECLASSIFIED”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 6, 2018) — On Monday’s “Hannity” show, House Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said that the committee is “getting closer and closer” to obtaining the totality of documents for which it has subpoenaed the DOJ and FBI for approximately a year.
“We have at least 20 pages of the FISA warrant that went after Carter Page…that the House Republicans have asked several months ago for the president and his office to declassify,” Nunes told Hannity, speaking of evidence presented to the FISA court beginning in October 2016 to request a warrant to conduct surveillance on then-Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
On February 2, Nunes released a Republican-drafted memo declassified by the White House alleging, among other things, that:
It is believed that the documentation presented to the court consisted mainly or solely of the Trump-Russia “dossier,” compiled by unnamed Russian sources for British citizen and former MI6 agent Christopher Steele.
On Friday, government-watchdog non-profit Judicial Watch released FBI documents it obtained through a FOIA lawsuit showing that the law-enforcement agency processed 11 payments to Steele while he acted as a “confidential human source” (CHS) in 2016. The documents are otherwise almost completely redacted.
Steele was later deemed unsuitable as an FBI source given that he discussed his activity with the agency with an outside party without authorization.
Speaking of a then-high-ranking DOJ official, Nunes continued, “The FBI interviewed Bruce Ohr at least a dozen times and put together reports.” Ohr has since been demoted twice. In 2016, his wife Nellie was working for Fusion GPS, which was contracted by the DNC to obtain opposition research involving Russia on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
In testimony last month to two congressional committees, former deputy assistant director for counterintelligence Peter Strzok said that the FBI obtained parts of the dossier from Ohr.
The Intel Committee has also been focusing on the State Department, which reportedly circulated the dossier, or a version thereof, to certain officials in 2016.
Hannity asked Nunes if “intel services” were involved in the launching of the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign, in which Strzok played a major role. Although the FBI has claimed that the investigation began on July 31, 2016, reports from former Trump campaign aides appear to show that “informants” approached them for unknown reasons prior to that date.
The FBI probe is based on the premise that Trump and/or a number of his campaign aides “colluded” with Russian operatives to tip the election in his favor. Trump has vehemently denied any “collusion” and called the now-two-year-old probe a “rigged witch hunt” frequently on Twitter.
Nunes responded to Hannity by invoking his finding earlier this year that no “Five Eyes” intelligence has been found thus far which would have served as a catalyst for the FBI to open an investigation into the Trump campaign. The “Five Eyes” consists of Canada, the UK, the US, New Zealand and Australia in which the nations share intelligence information purportedly to promote national and international security.
Nunes further said that “the media” and “the Democrats were in on this from the beginning.” “You had the DOJ, FBI, all those cast of characters that were meeting regularly with Christopher Steele; you had Bruce Ohr, the #4 at the Department of Justice.” Nunes then predicted that Ohr will become more important in the committee’s investigation into possible FISA abuse and the alleged politicization of the FBI and DOJ in the lead-up to the presidential election.
As he has said before, Nunes told Hannity that “In the big picture here, we need these documents declassified,” which can be done only by the White House.
“Soon, maybe this week,” Hannity eventually responded, citing a New York Post report and hinting at his own sources.
A number of congressional Republicans have been urging the president to declassify the documents they are receiving from the DOJ and FBI.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.