House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes claimed Wednesday that he and his Republican colleagues are on the verge of submitting a bevy of criminal referrals to Attorney General William Barr regarding everything from the FISA abuse scandal to the notorious Trump dossier.
“We are preparing a criminal referral that we will present to the attorney general at the appropriate time,” he said to Fox News host Sean Hannity. “For many crimes. The obvious ones that you would know about would be lying to Congress, but we will also be looking at FISA abuse and all the other matters that we’ve been looking into, and it’ll probably be one large referral.”
“We’re probably going to be prepared in the next two, three, four weeks,” he continued when pressed by Hannity about the time frame for the referrals.
“One of the things that’s coming up. … What people should be looking out for is next week on March 14th, a federal judge down in Florida has ordered the release of depositions by Christopher Steele, who is supposedly the author of the dossier, and David Kramer, who plead the fifth to this committee — who we know was handling and moving the dossier around to press outlets.”
True. Last week, to be specific, U.S. District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro ruled that depositions Steele and Kramer once filed in a lawsuit against BuzzFeed must be released publicly March 14.
Any Dems sweating? https://t.co/jR4SmpsDbo
— Will Arbuckle (@WJArbuckle) March 1, 2019
Kramer is a former associate of the late Sen. John McCain. It was he who funneled a fraudulent dossier on then-President-elect Donald Trump to various members of the media, including Ken Bensinger of BuzzFeed News, roughly a month and a half after the 2016 presidential election.
This and other revelations were unveiled at a court hearing late last year involving a suit filed in 2017 against BuzzFeed by Cyprus resident Aleksej Gubarev and his company XBT Holding alleging that the news publisher’s decision to publish the dossier in January 2017 had defamed them.
Bensinger obtained the dossier from Kramer when the two met at the McCain Institute on Dec. 29, 2016. Their meeting at the McCain Institute wasn’t incidental. It was McCain who had dispatched Kramer, a member of the institute, to obtain copies of the dossier roughly a month before the meeting.
Previous reports revealed that sometime in late 2016, former British diplomat Andrew Wood — a friend of British spy Christopher Steele, the man who compiled the dossier for the firm Fusion GPS — met with the Arizona senator to inform him of the contents of the since-discredited document.
All this is relevant because this fraudulent dossier — which as a reminder was paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democrat National Committee — was used during the Obama administration to convince the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to authorize the surveillance of Trump’s campaign and eventually the launch of special counsel Robert Mueller’s fruitless investigation.
Fire Comey! FBI used tabloid ‘golden shower’ dossier to obtain FISA warrants on Trump associates, CNN reports https://t.co/bMU8MqhotH
— ??Jimmy 2 Scoops?? (@PatriotGeorgia) April 20, 2017
“The only collusion occurred between the Democrats and the Russians,” Nunes said when asked about the impending release of Mueller’s report. “That we’re still trying to get to the bottom of.”
Correct. In fact, much of the information contained within the dossier was reportedly provided to Steele via his connections within Russia, according to congressman Darrell Issa.
“Christopher Steele hasn’t been in Russia in 20 years, so even the people, the unknown people responsible for it could easily, easily have in fact been agents of the Russian government, which would mean that Hillary Clinton is the one guilty of the so-called ‘collusion,'” he said last year.
What’s unclear is who exactly Nunes’ referrals will target and for what. From the sounds of it, however, Steele and Kramer will most likely be among those to be referred for prosecution.
What’s also unclear is whether Nunes bite is as scathing as his bark. Why? Because he’s been promising to drop referrals for months now, as noted by disgruntled social media users:
If not 2,3 or 4 weeks, then maybe 6,7 or 8. Or maybe in 10 weeks or 12. Or maybe by the end of the summer. It’s always coming, always just around the corner. It’s actually becoming a little tiresome to this deplorable.
— Scott Lehner (@scoleh) March 7, 2019
Gee why didn’t they do this while they were in the majority ?
— Eric Woolf (@EricCML) March 7, 2019
Too good to be true? Or have we heard this before?
— David Purcell (@dcpurcell) March 7, 2019
4 weeks to give to AG, then bottom of the pile for however long it takes to get to. Wheels of justice move slow. Not like TV shows, unfortunately. It takes years to get anything done.
— Good vs Evil (@Sweeps2032) March 7, 2019
As a Republican I will believe it when it happens! These people are all talk no action!
— Jim (@double2eagle) March 7, 2019
2,3, 4, weeks. Get on with this. Money is being wasted.
in a few weeks.. referral… That does what exactly?
Asks for investigations.
Then those investigations, if they are even started, take what?? months, years, HAHA.
Yeah wake me when y’all see these please! pic.twitter.com/Zh9WNgQ2c2
— Khage Daminal (@KhageDaminal) March 7, 2019
“We’re going to make several referrals,” he said to Fox News host Tucker Carlson in late January. “A lot of people think just because Republicans are out of power that we are not conducting an investigation. We still are. Whether or not people will come in and interview with us, we don’t have gavels, we don’t have subpoena power. But we will still be trying to interview people and we will still be making criminal referrals.”
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