Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said this week that Democrats “have all the blood on their hands” for having “completely destroyed the FBI and the Department of Justice.” Nunes chairs the House Intelligence Committee. This comes as the House Judiciary Committee has called for testimony from 17 FBI and DOJ officials regarding abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which allegedly occurred during the Obama administration. 

On Monday, Democrats warned Republicans that "they will be held accountable" for any detriment resulting to the FBI and Justice Department during their probe into possible abuse of the agencies’ surveillance authority. “We’re not gonna be threatened by the Democrats. They are the ones that have all this blood on their hands,” Nunes told Laura Ingraham on “The Ingraham Angle.”

“They're the ones who completely destroyed the FBI and DOJ. How did they do that? They did that by digging up dirt, the Clinton campaign dug up dirt, put it into a dossier, fed into the FBI and the FBI used our counterintelligence capabilities against a political campaign,” he said. Nunes added, “They are the ones that have all this blood on their hands. They're the ones who completely destroyed the FBI and DOJ."

Nunes referred to the dossier that was developed by ex-British spy Christopher Steele and the FusionGPS opposition research firm at the behest of the the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The dossier claimed to have embarrassing information about then-candidate Donald Trump, which eventually was used to obtain a FISA warrant to snoop on Americans’ phone calls. 

Devin Nunes: “Look we’re not going to be threatened by the Democrats. Look they’re the ones that have all this blood on their hands. They’re the ones who have completely destroyed the FBI and DOJ. How did they do that? They did that by digging up dirt. The Clinton campaign dug up dirt, put it into a dossier, fed it to the FBI. And the FBI used our counter-intelligence, our capabilities against a political campaign. That’s what happened here. The Democrats in the House and the Senate want to continue to obfuscate. They want to continue to cover up. If we listened to the Democrats we would have never even found out the Democrats paid Christopher Steele to generate this dirt on President Trump.”

Last week, Nunes wrote a letter to the Oversight and Judiciary Committees asking the respective committees to interview former FBI and DOJ officials about possible government surveillance abuse during the 2016 election, suggesting that they “have relevant information.” Those officials include: former State Department officials Elizabeth Dibble, Jonathan Finer, Kathleen Kavalec, Lewis Lukens, Victoria Nuland, Thomas Williams and Jonathan Winer. 
“For the sake of transparency and to keep the American people as fully informed as possible about these matters, the task force should consider interviewing these individuals in an open setting,” Nunes wrote.

Also last week, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) referred to Nunes and Republican Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)., Mark Meadows (R-NC), and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as the “four horsemen of this apocalypse” on CNN last week. Schiff accused them of exaggerating evidence about alleged surveillance of the Trump campaign after Nunes called on interviewing the former FBI and DOJ officials, including fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe and former FBI agent Peter Strzok. “They have been leading the charge basically to require the Justice Department to give them materials that can be leaked or fed or misrepresented, like the infamous Nunes memorandum, in the service of the president,” Schiff said. “And in the meantime, they do enormous damage to these institutions. Ultimately, they will be held accountable.”

On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee -- which is chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) --  issued a subpoena to former FBI counterintelligence agent Strzok to openly testify before the committee on July 10. Strzok’s lawyer wrote in an earlier letter to the committee that the date does not work for his client. Strzok testified before the two committees last week in closed-door sessions that lasted nearly 11 hours. Strzok’s lawyer had o

Strzok’s lawyer, Aitan Goelman, wrote to the House Judiciary Committee on Monday to say that the July 10 date would not convenient while also condemning Republicans for leaking parts of Strzok’s testimony. According to Goelman, the Republicans’ behavior “has transcended the bounds of decency, civility and fair dealing, even for this deeply divided political era.”

Schiff said, "Having sharpened their knives behind closed doors, the committee would now like to drag back Special Agent Strzok and have him testify in public — a request that we originally made and the committee denied," Goelman wrote. "What's being asked of Special Agent Strzok is to participate in what anyone can recognize as a trap.”

Peter Strzok, the FBI counterintelligence agent who said “we’ll stop” then-candidate Donald Trump from becoming president, has been subpoenaed to openly testify before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees on July 10 — after his lawyer recently said the date would not work.

Strzok was a top FBI agent involved in the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state during the Obama administration. He served simultaneously on the FBI investigation of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Thereafter, Strzok was assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, as was former FBI attorney Lisa Page. Both were removed after their disparaging text messages about Trump came to light. 
In a lengthy report on FBI conduct, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz criticized Strzok for bias. It was in August 2016, during the investigation into Russian interference in the election and any potential connection to Trump's campaign, that Strzok texted to Page that “we’ll stop” then-candidate Donald Trump from being elected. 
 

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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