Nunes Accuses DOJ Of ‘Obstruction’ In Battle Over FBI Informant Documents
Chuck Ross on June 11, 2018
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes is giving the Department of Justice until Tuesday to provide documents about an FBI informant used to spy on the Trump campaign.
In a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Friday, Nunes accused the agency of “obstruction” and using “an array of tactics” to withhold the documents about the spy, who is believed to be former University of Cambridge professor Stefan Halper.
In the letter, Nunes said he wants the documents provided to the Intelligence committee and “designated staff” instead of only to the so-called Gang of Eight, as the Justice Department has requested.
“DOJ continues to obfuscate and delay its production using an array of tactics, such as incorrectly categorizing the requested documents as Gang-of-Eight-level material in order to limit access,” Nunes wrote, according to Fox News.
“Such conduct by DOJ is unacceptable because the Gang-of-Eight is a legal fiction that has no basis outside of the confines of Presidential approval and reporting of covert actions.”
The Gang of Eight consists of the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees, as well as Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
The battle over the DOJ and FBI documents began on April 24 when Nunes, a California Republican, subpoenaed the Justice Department for records related to a specific individual, now known to be Halper.
A Justice Department official responded to that request by saying that the records were too sensitive to provide to Congress. The Washington Post soon reported that the individual was a longtime FBI and CIA source whose information was being used in the special counsel’s Russia investigation.
Halper, a veteran of three Republican administrations, has since been reported as the FBI informant. During the campaign, he reached out to Trump campaign advisers Carter Page, Sam Clovis and George Papadopoulos.
Justice Department and FBI officials briefed the Gang of Eight on May 24 after intervention from Speaker Ryan. Documents about the FBI spy were taken into the meeting, but weren’t shared with lawmakers.
“Your continued refusal to permit Members of Congress and designated staff to review the requested documents is obstruction of a lawful Congressional investigation,” Nunes wrote to Rosenstein on Friday.