Nunes: DOJ Never Should Have Opened Counterintelligence Investigation Into a Political Party
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) wants to find out if the Justice Department and FBI had a good reason to launch a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.
Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told "Fox & Friends" that the committee has not seen any "credible evidence or intelligence" explaining why the FBI opened its investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"What we’re trying to do is get the documents to figure out what methods were used to open this counterintelligence investigation," Nunes said, suggesting that it could reflect badly on the DOJ and FBI once all the information comes to light.
“I believe they never should have opened a counterintelligence investigation into a political party," Nunes said. "Counterintelligence investigations very rarely happen. And when they do happen, you have to be very careful because you‘re using the tools of our intelligence services and relationships with other countries in order to spy on a political campaign. Probably not a good idea."
He said he and fellow committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) are asking the DOJ to "come clean" in a timely manner with all the documents that led to the opening of the Russia investigation.
"Nobody’s asking for sources, nobody’s asking for methods, so let’s just lay all the cards out on the table: 'Here’s what happened and how this counterintelligence investigation was opened.'"
Nunes and Gowdy are also accusing the DOJ of being behind “anonymous attacks” in the press targeting a House Intelligence Committee GOP staffer who helped author the committee’s well-publicized memo alleging surveillance abuse by the FBI and DOJ during the 2016 election.
The New York Times reported there is tension between the committee and the DOJ over Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's request for records involving committee investigator Kash Patel's travel to London last year.
Rosenstein reportedly wants to know if Patel was attempting to interview former British spy Christopher Steele, the author behind the salacious anti-Trump dossier.
"Attacking staffers, planting false stories, and endangering national security by leaking sensitive information to the press, including information about intelligence sources - this is what the DOJ is doing," Nunes said.