Rep. Nunes unloads on Comey, the FBI, the endless investigation of Pres. Trump
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee went on the record yesterday on the latest issues surrounding the endless investigation of President Donald J. Trump and his associates. These comments from the chair of the House committee that conducted its own investigation of alleged Russian collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign (and concluded that there was no collusion) came at the start of what promises to be another week packed with news about the ongoing efforts by opponents of President Trump, inside and outside the government, to take him down.
From Fox News:
REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA) TELLS SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES WITH MARIA BARTIROMO "...THERE WAS NO INTELLIGENCE" IN REACTION TO THE FBI'S DECISION TO INVESTIGATE THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN
In an interview presented Sunday morning on FOX News Channel's Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, discussed the intelligence behind the FBI's decision to investigate the Trump campaign, former FBI Director James Comey's memos that were recently released, and the Inspector General's criminal referral against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Highlights are below.
Video (11 minutes):
Maria Bartiromo, Fox News Channel, April 22, 2018. Screenshot by Peter Barry Chowka.
On Rep. Nunes's review of the original intelligence behind the FBI's decision to investigate the Trump campaign:
So it took us a long time to actually get this, what's called the electronic communication. As we know it now, for your viewers, what that is it's the original intelligence, the original reasons, that the counter-intelligence investigation was started. Now this is really important to us because the counter-intelligence investigation uses the tools of our intelligence services that are not supposed to be used on American citizens. So we've long wanted to know well what intelligence did you have that actually led to this investigation. So what we found now after the investigators have reviewed it is that in fact there was no intelligence[.]
On his investigation into the State Department as it relates to the Trump campaign investigation:
We think there's some major irregularities at the State Department and we're trying to figure out how it is that this information about Mr. Papadopoulos of all people, who was supposedly meeting with some folks in London, how that made it over across into the FBI's hands. We know a little bit about that because of what some of the State Department officials themselves have said about that. So we were glad to get this behind us but now of course as we peel another piece back, it leaves more unanswered questions which we're trying to get to the bottom of.
On how the investigation into the Trump campaign colluding with Russia started:
We don't understand. We've never understood because we have access to these finished intelligence products and we've never seen one. So we thought well maybe there was one that went through a different channel that was kept really quiet, that was secret, that was kept from the Congress and other folks. Well, in fact, after our investigators reviewed this, that is not what happened.
On how he believes that former secretary of state Hillary Clinton played a role in the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign:
We don't know that yet. I can tell you what we do know. We do know that longtime associates of Hillary Clinton, including Sidney Blumenthal and another person, I think Cory Scheer, were actively giving information to the State Department that was somehow making its way to the FBI. This is from two people within the State Department who have now publicly come out and said this in I think in major news publications. So we know this, we know this was at least from at least two witnesses who have publicly said this and so what we're trying to do is piece all of that together. We now know there was no official intelligence that was used to start this investigation. We know that Sidney Blumenthal and others were pushing information into the State Department. So we're trying to piece all of that together and that's why we continued to look at the State Department.
Rep. Devin Nunes on Fox News Channel, April 22, 2018. Screenshot by Peter Barry Chowka.
On his reaction to the former FBI director James Comey's memos released:
The main reason we wanted them out is because the mainstream media and the Democrats have been running around talking about collusion, collusion, collusion. When they figured out there was no collusion, they moved on to obstruction of justice, obstruction of justice, obstruction of justice. What Mr. Gowdy, who was able to review these a long time ago, and Mr. Goodlatte had said, and now we [know] this from reading them, is that once you read all of the Comey memos it becomes 'Exhibit A' in a defense against that there was no obstruction of justice[.]
On his reaction to the inspector general's referral of criminal charges against former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe:
So Mr. McCabe has been recommended that he face criminal charges. Now his lawyer and he has a right to his lawyer, his lawyer has said no this is not true what the IG – Mr. Comey is lying essentially is what Mr. McCabe is saying, that Comey did give him the right to go talk to the press. So this all has to be flushed out. Clearly the IG believed Mr. Comey, that Comey did not give Mr. McCabe the ability to go talk to the press.
On his reaction to the classified information in Comey's memos:
He kept seven memos, four of those were classified. He decided to launder them to a friend, who then leaked them to the New York Times. If those memos contain classified information, he purposely did that, he purposely leaked them in order to get a special counsel started after he was fired, he leaked pieces of these. So we need to figure out exactly what is it that he leaked, who did he give these memos to, and was it just the friend that leaked them to the New York Times or were there others? I believe there were others. I think that these Comey memos were actually given to several people. It contained classified information, the irony is the very thing that Mr. Comey cleared Mrs. Clinton of.
Transcript excerpts provided by Fox News.