House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes revealed a “fourth bucket” of information had been revealed related to potential misconduct by the FBI that he wants declassified.
Nunes, who steps down as chairman at the end of the year as Democrats take over, said his panel’s investigation into the Justice Department and FBI is largely complete. Nunes said the public release of these “buckets” would help give his efforts a sense of “finality.”
Speaking with Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo on her program “Sunday Morning Futures,” Nunes said the first of three “buckets” were the Russia-related documents President Trump walked back from declassifying earlier this year.
Nunes said the last portion of documents pertains to emails showing knowledge about withholding information from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court.
“The new fourth bucket that we’re asking to be declassified now is — for months we have been reviewing emails between FBI, and DOJ, and others that clearly show that they knew about information that should have been presented to the FISA court,” he said.
Nunes added that House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has been pressing the Justice Department to hand over emails and make as many public as possible. As has been a point of frustration in the past, Nunes complained that the DOJ has redacted some information, even in classified settings.
“We continue to work with the DOJ on ensuring Congressional oversight requests are fulfilled,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong told the Washington Examiner in an email.
A spokesperson for the Justice Department did not immediately return a request for comment.
Nunes said the other three “buckets” of documents that he and GOP allies have pushed President Trump to declassify remain under wraps.
After making a declaration in September to have these documents declassified and Russia-related texts from officials, including FBI Director James Comey, released, Trump reversed course after meeting with top DOJ officials, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Trump explained that declassifying them himself could be perceived as tampering with the Russia investigation and said he also headed concerns from “key allies;” instead Trump said he would leave it to the DOJ inspector general to review the documents.
Among these documents are a handful of pages of the June 2017 application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to continue surveillance of Trump campaign aide Carter Page, which originally began in 2016, and FBI reports of interviews prepared in connection with all surveillance applications of Page.
The Republican majority of the House Intelligence Committee released a unclassified memo in February alleging the DOJ and FBI sought the authority to spy on Page using the infamous Trump dossier, which contains compromising, yet unverified claims about Trump’s ties to Russia. The memo alleged that agents failed to disclose to a federal judge that the research of the dossier was done by ex-British spy Christopher Steele. At the time, Nunes conceded he did not personally read the underlying documents used to put together the memo, which earned him a round of criticism from his Democratic colleagues.
While Nunes, in his capacity as intelligence chairman, has sought information related to the genesis of the Russian investigation, he also referred dozens of names to his counterparts in the Judiciary and Oversight Committees to use their task force to expand the inquiry. Nunes, however, conceded Sunday that with the incoming Democratic majority and time being short in this waning term of Congress, that line of inquiry would likely end without a proper conclusion.