Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and author of the controversial Republican memo alleging government surveillance abuse during the 2016 presidential campaign, said on Sunday the White House did not block the release of the Democrats’ rebuttal to the GOP note.
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“What they did is they said, ‘look, you need to make some redactions and some technical corrections here and we will get it out right away.’ Now from that point, we’ve heard nothing but crickets,” Nunes, R-Calif., told Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.” “Their memo is sitting at the House Intelligence Committee down at the bottom of the Capitol waiting to be redacted. If they really wanted to get it out they’d be down there all day yesterday redacting it, getting it back over to the White House so that the public could know what’s in it. So this is nothing but politics,” he added.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif, also a member of the Intelligence Committee, had called for the release of Democratic members’ own memo earlier this month. Nunes said the request was “not a surprise” and that they “packed it full of sources and methods,” though he said he and fellow Republican lawmakers prefer the Democrats’ memo to be released, as long as certain redactions are included.
Still, the lawmaker said there is a major felony that no one is talking about: the leak of highly-classified information after the phone call between a Russian ambassador and former national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn that took place prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration. However, Nunes explained that the legislative branch of government provides oversight, but can’t actually arrest anyone.
“We can make criminal referrals, but criminal referrals only. We don’t have people that can go out and arrest people and bring them down to the Capitol and hold them in the bowels of the Capitol. All we can do is make criminal referrals,” the California Republican said.
The next step, or Phase 2, in Nunes’ investigation includes investigating the State Department.