Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is adamant that there is enough evidence in the Justice Department inspector general report to bring “criminal conspiracy charges” against fired FBI Director James Comey.
In an appearance Tuesday on Fox News, Nunes pointed out that Republicans on the Democrat-run House Intelligence Committee “sent over eight criminal referrals” on Comey, including two that involved “conspiracy.”
He then turned to the recently released inspector general’s report.
“The IG report, even though it didn’t lead to a prosecution, it’s a tremendous amount of evidence that would build into the case that we’ve been making that there was, in fact, a conspiracy here,” Nunes said. “And that is what the Justice Department should be looking at — conspiracy to break many laws.”
“America’s Newsroom” co-host Sandra Smith asked him for details on the evidence.
“When you look at manipulation of intelligence or lying to the FISA court for political purposes, you now know the evidence that we have is that Comey wasn’t going to brief the president just to get him up to speed,” the lawmaker said. “He was acting as if he was an agent working for the Crossfire Hurricane team.”
(Crossfire Hurricane is the code name for a covert counterintelligence probe by the FBI of alleged collusion between Trump associates and Russian officials.)
Nunes was referencing a Jan. 6, 2017, briefing by Comey, former CIA director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former NSA Director Mike Rogers.
The meeting was billed as a “defensive briefing” on Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, but the IG report shows that Comey was looking to get “information of value” from Trump after informing him of accusations in the scandalous Steele dossier that was never verified — this being seen by critics as an attempt by Comey to “set up” President-elect Trump.
“[Comey] has tried to pretend that he’s like a step or two away from what happened,” Nunes explained. “He always pretends that he doesn’t know what was happening with the FISA situation, he doesn’t know what happened to the intelligence. Well, the IG report really makes clear that that is not the case.”
Attorney General William Barr opted not to prosecute Comey based on what has been released by the inspector general, but Nunes pointed out that Barr has asked the U.S. Attorney in Connecticut “to look at everything. The origins of this investigation.”
Nunes put forth the questions he said Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham needs to answer.
“How did this begin?” he said. “How did you use our secret, most powerful capabilities in his country that are designed to go after foreigners, go after bad guys, how does that system get turned around to target an American political campaign, for president nonetheless.”
Nunes said GOP lawmakers made two specific criminal referrals on conspiracy to defraud the FISA courts — the inspector general has yet to release his report on the FISA warrants obtained to begin surveilling Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
He added that Comey signed the FISA warrants while “interrogating the president and using that information, feeding it right back into the Crossfire Hurricane team at a time when Congress nor the President-elect knew that he was under investigation.”
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