“I WANT THE UNDERLYING INFORMATION”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Apr. 8, 2019) — An interview between House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes and “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo revealed that Nunes and a number of colleagues intend to present eight criminal referrals this week to the U.S. Justice Department stemming from the Trump-Russia “collusion” investigation.
The probe began with the FBI and was assumed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017 after FBI Director James Comey was fired. On March 22, Mueller’s report was delivered to the Justice Department, which reported two days later in a summary that no collusion was found between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Early in the 15-minute interview on Sunday, Nunes described the probe of the Trump campaign as “new McCarthyism that merged with Watergate wannabes.” He said that “90% of the press was in on” what has been found to have been false allegations of “collusion” against the campaign, Trump personally, and his presidency. “It started by dirtying-up a presidential candidate and then it went on to dirtying-up a president,” Nunes said.
He decried the “leaking of classified information” from investigators and said that the new “real” attorney general, William Barr, is expected to take a fresh look at the criminality Nunes believes occurred on the part of some DOJ and FBI officials to create the hoax.
Nunes said that “two or three” journalists were the recipients of classified information that was leaked as the investigation went forward.
He told Bartiromo that “eight referrals” will be sent to Barr “this week” encompassing alleged unauthorized leaks, lying to Congress, and “conspiracy to mislead” the FISA court, from which DOJ and FBI officials obtained permission to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page for a year.
No member of Congress can prosecute criminal charges on his own, a fact Nunes invoked, and criminal referrals to the Justice Department do not constitute guaranteed prosecutions. “All we can do is investigate,” he said. “We don’t have the power to arrest or convict.”
It is already known that former FBI General Counsel James Baker and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe were referred to respective U.S. attorneys for possible criminal prosecution, both for allegedly leaking to the media. Bartiromo asked Nunes, given that McCabe is “currently on a book tour,” what type of “accountability” might come about.
Nunes said that the process involves the legislative branch, in this case, making the referrals to the executive branch, of which the DOJ is a part. He reminded her audience that “all Americans have the right to a fair trial, and that goes to the judicial branch of our government.”
He said that some high-ranking FBI and DOJ officials have not yet been interviewed in regard to the “manufactured hoax,” but did not indicate if they might still be called. Nunes, a Republican and former committee chairman, no longer has subpoena power as a result of Democrats’ having been voted into the majority in the House in the midterm elections.
Nunes was critical of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan, both of whom were hired by major left-leaning media outlets and spoke with authority over the last two years that Trump or his associates were guilty of a crime. Nunes suggested that Congress should weigh possible legislation to prevent a recurrence of that phenomenon in the future. “This is just not appropriate,” he said of former intelligence heads’ on-air claims to have “seen the classified information and I can tell you there may be a crime there.”
Brennan was stripped of his security clearance last year and has accused Trump of committing “treason.”
As for House Intel Committee and other congressional Democrats, Nunes said he “doesn’t care” about their claims that “collusion” existed and simply needed to be proved. “The American people have only seen the pieces that have been declassified so far…there’s still more information,” he said.
Current House Intel Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler continue to insist that there is “evidence of collusion” between Trump and the Russians and a lack of “ethics” despite Mueller’s failure to identify a crime.
“This was their insurance policy,” Nunes continued, referring to a text message exchanged between former Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok and former FBI Counsel to the Deputy Director Lisa Page discovered during the course of the DOJ inspector general’s investigation into DOJ/FBI conduct in 2016. “A lot of people think the ‘insurance policy’ was just the overall investigation of the Trump campaign. It’s actually much more conspiratorial than that…” he added.
Regarding whether or not the “Mueller report” should be released to the public, Nunes said that it should, “but not just the Mueller report, because remember, many people that are on the Mueller team are involved in a lot of these conspiracies…I want the underlying information because I don’t believe — I think the indictments that were made by the Mueller team — I think some are very questionable, and I think there’s pieces of them that always read like Russian spy novels. That was done on purpose to create a narrative to make the American people think, as they were indicting these people, that somehow this had to do with collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.”
“I don’t care what’s in the Mueller report…” Nunes continued. “What I want is the information underlying the report so that we can actually look into it, because every time we peel back the onion in this case, what do we find? We find out that somehow, high-level officials within the DOJ and FBI were misleading the American people and the courts.”
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.