Thirty members of Congress have reviewed largely unredacted copies of the highly sensitive surveillance-warrant applications on Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, but House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes still has not – despite having issued a subpoena for the documents last year and more recently calling on President Donald Trump to declassify large swaths of the materials.
According to Justice Department officials, the California Republican has been offered opportunities to review the materials at a secure location at the department for months, but he has not come. Instead, he has sent committee staff and Rep. Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican who’s the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, in his place.
CNN first reported in May how Nunes, after threatening Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein with contempt of Congress for failing to produce an unredacted copy of the document formally authorizing the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election, opted not to read it when it was sitting in front of him. CNN reported at the time that Nunes had not read the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application and other classified materials he had demanded.
Yet Nunes refused to say Monday whether he had read the FISA materials when asked – and attacked CNN instead.
Asked Wednesday by CNN why he still hasn’t read the documents, Nunes declined to respond.
“You already know the answer,” he said.
All members of the House and Senate Intelligence committees have been provided access to review the Page FISA materials with only very minor redactions – and both sides of the aisle have taken up the Justice Department on that offer. Members who have reviewed the materials include top Democratic and Republican leadership on the House and Senate Judiciary committees as well.
After the heavily redacted FISA applications and orders were released publicly on Saturday, Nunes called for the remainder of the document to be released publicly without redactions.
“TIME TO ELIMINATE REDACTIONS … PLEASE RT,” Nunes tweeted on Sunday with an article from a conservative news website that defended his memo alleging FISA abuses.
“Time to eliminate rest of redactions!!!” Nunes tweeted again on Monday, while sharing another article from a conservative website.
Some other Republicans who have seen the FISA documents without the redactions also want them to be made public. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican who has been locked in his own fight with the Justice Department over documents, made an argument similar to Nunes’ on Sunday but mentioned that he’s read what’s contained in most of the redactions.
“I have had the opportunity, as have a few other members of the House of Representatives, the opportunity to read these FISA warrant applications without all of those redactions. There are only a few redactions in the document that I reviewed,” Goodlatte said Sunday on Fox News. “And I think it is critically important that the American people have the opportunity to see most of the rest of those documents.”