ACCUSES MUELLER OF “CIRCULAR REPORTING”
by Sharon Rondeau
The dossier was at least part of the “evidence” which initiated an FBI counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign on the basis that someone within the organization was engaged in “collusion,” or a “conspiracy,” with the Kremlin to gain an election advantage over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump always denied the allegations and claimed that the investigation was a politically-motivated “witch hunt.”
Nunes said that “there were activities going on” in Britain and perhaps Italy during the 2016 presidential campaign “against Trump campaign people” by governments or a “firm.”
Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos has said in numerous interviews that he was approached by no fewer than six unknown individuals while he was working in Europe in the spring and summer of 2016, all of whom wanted to talk about “Russia,” offer him a job or introduce him to influential people in foreign governments, all of which he said was unsolicited and did not materialize.
“It’s been very frustrating, because we’ve been asking these questions, and we’re not getting them from places like the FBI,” Nunes told host Sean Hannity. “I think we need to get some answers here.”
Fox News reported earlier Wednesday that Nunes wrote a letter prompted by an article in the (UK) Telegraph Sunday claiming that “May’s spy chiefs” were told of the existence of the Steele dossier prior to Trump’s having been informed of it by then-FBI Director James Comey on January 6, 2017.
Steele’s compilation was not verified but was used to obtain four FISA warrants on U.S. citizen and short-term Trump policy adviser Carter Page over the course of a year. Page was never charged with a crime.
In May 2017, the FBI’s Trump investigation was assumed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller after Comey was fired. Last month, Mueller’s final report was made public, indicating that his team of 19 prosecutors and 40 FBI agents found insufficient evidence to support the theory of Trump-Russia “collusion” or “conspiracy.”
Nunes then revealed that he has “met with plenty of officials” in British intelligence. “They’re no idiots, Sean,” he said. “There is no possible way that British intelligence folks read the Christopher Steele dossier and didn’t just laugh.”
Republicans on the committee have recently made approximately nine criminal referrals of former U.S. government officials to the Justice Department, Nunes reminded Hannity.
In additional breaking news, Nunes said, referring to Mueller’s final report tongue-in-cheek, “I actually believe that Mueller knows that the Mueller ‘dossier’ team knew that the Brits, actually, I think did give us some warning” as to the lack of veracity in the Steele dossier.
Later in the broadcast, frequent guest and investigative journalist Sara A. Carter said that her sources indicate that Nunes’s letter will reveal significant information as to communications between British and U.S. intelligence agencies stemming from the dossier.
Papadopoulos has claimed in his interviews that the UK, Australia and Italy were conducting surveillance on the Trump campaign at the behest of then-CIA Director John Brennan, an vehement Trump opponent.
In response to a question from Hannity as to the information Mueller might have had when he assumed the FBI’s probe, Nunes said that Mueller “knew the day he walked in the door that there was no evidence of collusion.”
He also alleged that Mueller “made up most of the information in his report based off of news stories,” amounting to “circular reporting” after “$40 million” spent.