Chuck Ross, DCNF
- House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes claims that the FBI and Justice Department omitted ‘exculpatory evidence’ on Carter Page in spy applications.
- Nunes is investigating the FBI and DOJ for possible FISA abuse.
- The Republican also claims that DOJ official Bruce Ohr will become ‘more and more important’ to his investigation.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes claimed Monday that the FBI and Justice Department failed to include exculpatory evidence in surveillance warrant applications against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
“There is exculpatory evidence that we have seen, of classified documents that need to be declassified,” Nunes said in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
“Exculpatory in nature in what way? Exculpatory in what way?” Hannity asked.
“In that the Carter Page FISA when the judges should have been presented with this exculpatory evidence that the FBI and DOJ had,” Nunes replied.
In an interview, Nunes laid out three areas of interest that House Intelligence Republicans have in their investigation into possible abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
Nunes and other Republican members of the committee recently asked President Trump to declassify 21 pages from the FBI’s fourth and final FISA warrant application. Nunes claimed in an interview on July 29 that Americans “will be shocked” when they see the 21 pages.
The Justice Department released heavily redacted versions of the four Page FISAs on July 21.
Republicans have asserted that the FBI and Justice Department misled the FISA Court by relying heavily on the unverified and Democrat-funded dossier to obtain four FISA warrants on Page. The dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele, claims that Page met with two Kremlin insiders during a July 2016 trip to Moscow. It also alleges that Page was directly involved in a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian government to influence the election.
Page has vehemently denied the allegations.
Nunes also told Hannity that the committee is interested in learning more about Justice Department official Bruce Ohr’s role in the Trump-Russia investigation.
Ohr, the former associate deputy attorney general, met with Steele before and after the 2016 presidential election. The post-election meetings were held after the FBI ended its relationship with Steele because of the former British spy’s contacts with the media.
As Nunes noted, though the FBI severed ties with Steele, Ohr provided information from his 12 meetings with Steele back to the FBI. Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, also worked during the campaign for Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that hired Steele in June 2016.
“Bruce Ohr is going to become more and more important in this investigation, and I think people should pay close attention to it,” Nunes told Hannity.
Nunes did not elaborate on what evidence the FBI failed to include in the FISA applications. A spokesman for the California Republican said he was unable to go beyond what Nunes told Hannity.