WashPost: House Intel Committee Sought 'Unmaskings' Last Year

Jun 05, 2017, 08:08

Even though House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes has stepped back from his committee's Russian Federation investigation, he's still the one issuing the subpoenas, and that strikes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as wrong. Adam SchiffAdam SchiffPelosi: Nunes violating recusal in Russia probe House Dems pause Russia probe interviews: report Top Dem: Nunes violating Russia recusal with subpoenas MORE (D-Calif.), ranking member of the panel, said Wednesday that the chairman was in "violation of the recusal".

Democratic Representative Jackie Speier said it appeared that Nunes was "more concerned with pushing the White House narrative than seeking the truth".

Nunes issued the subpoenas to the FBI, CIA, and NSA related to those unmaskings, and Democrats accused him of violating his recusal from the Russian Federation investigation.

Nunes, who would have had to sign off on any committee requests to reveal the identities of United States persons mentioned in intelligence reports, called unmaskings "violations of Americans' civil liberties" last week.

Representative Jim Himes, a Democrat on the House Intelligence panel, replied to Trump's tweet, calling it a "pathetic distraction".

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Schiff said on CNN Thursday of Nunes' new subpoenas: "I have to conclude this is part of the White House effort to direct attention in another direction" as the Russian Federation probe intensifies.

Ryan hasn't commented on Schiff's latest challenge or on whether Nunes should be involved in the investigation at all.

The Senate intelligence committee announced Comey's appearance, and a Comey associate said he had been cleared to testify by Robert Mueller, another former FBI director now overseeing that investigation as special counsel.

"Commitments to recuse himself have not been fully honoured", Schiff told MSNBC.

"If he recused himself on subjects, Russia, then he shouldn't have access to documents relating to subject, Russia, and he shouldn't be issuing separate subpoenas attaching them to a bipartisan subpoenas that were issued this week", Pelosi said Friday. The president's claim was refuted by former FBI Director James Comey in congressional testimony before Trump fired him last month.

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Lawmakers are likely to ask Comey about his interactions with Trump as the bureau pursued its investigation into his campaign's contacts. Ahead of the presidential poll, thousands of hacked emails of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, and the Democratic National Committee were leaked.

Farage said on Twitter it had taken him a long time to read the Guardian article because he was "laughing so much at this fake news". What worries me is that it goes in so many directions at this point that the outrage may lose its focus on the simple fact that very effective means were employed to place in the White House an unqualified and vulgar talking yam for the specific objective of hog-tying the government of the United States.

"I don't know what the chairman has in mind, again, because we weren't consulted, or why the chairman was picking these three people apart from the fact that they were part of the Obama administration", Schiff told CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.

It's a surprising backslide for House investigators after they spent two months righting their ship - including agreeing to a "reset" immediately after Nunes first said he would step aside from leading the probe.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, called Nunes "honorable" Thursday on CNN's "New Day" - but added that he had questions about Nunes' role in the Russian Federation subpoenas.

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