Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, wants to see a criminal investigation into why the FBI and Department of Justice failed to hand over recently declassified text messages from ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok.
Speaking on Fox News, Nunes said the texts which were released on Thursday by GOP Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Charles Grassley of Iowa would’ve been ‘clearly relevant’ for Republicans’ look into the origins of the Russia investigation.
Nunes is arguing that they should have been released to members of Congress.
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California is calling for a criminal investigation into why FBI and DOJ failed to turn over text messages from former FBI agent Peter Strzok
‘This is clearly lying and obstructing Congress. This is information that we asked for numerous times,’ Nunes said. ‘We sat in meetings with DOJ and FBI, and they sat there and stone cold said there’s no more information, there’s no more text messages.’
The messages which were released also include communication that reference the Russia investigation before it officially began.
Strzok stated in a July 2017 message that he was worried ‘about having this as a [counterintelligence] case when we are really doing a criminal investigation.’
‘These were the text messages that we really needed to run a proper investigation,’ Nunes told Sunday Morning Futures on Fox.
The texts which were released on Thursday by GOP Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Charles Grassley of Iowa would have been ‘clearly relevant’ to investigators, Nunes said
‘Instead we had to go around. We had to rely on informants. We had to piece all this together in order to get this out to the American people that hey, Trump campaign and Republicans were not only spied on but this was wrong.’
Lots of messages from Strzok had been made public in the past, but the DOJ released additional messages earlier this month after the Senators requested their release.
The texts include a January 9, 2017 exchange between Strzok and Lisa Page, then the FBI lawyer with whom he was having an affair.
Strzok, who also ran the FBI’s ‘Midyear Exam’ probe into Clinton’s private email server, later joined Special Counsel Robert Muller’s team, along with Page.
Both Strzok and Page left the FBI in disgrace after their secret love affair was discovered by supervisors.
FBI lovers Lisa Page (left) and Peter Strzok left the FBI in disgrace after their secret love affair was discovered by supervisors
A Strzok text message to Page on July 28, 2017, the same day the Australian tip was received, says he wants to discuss ‘[o]ur open C[ounter-]I[ntelligence] investigations relating to Trump’s Russian connections’
Mueller’s probe failed to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.
The legality of the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation is now the subject of a separate probe, led by US Attorney John Durham, who himself was appointed as a special counsel earlier this month.
Nunes explained how he was confident that Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, who has been leading an investigation of his own into the Russia probe’s origins, will take action.
‘I don’t see how John Durham can’t bust several people for lying and misleading Congress,’ he said.
John Durham was chosen by Attorney General William Barr to lead a review into the Russia investigation
The new text messages revealed on Wednesday also suggest that the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe was opened earlier that has been officially admitted.
A Justice Department Inspector General report in December 2019 claimed that the FBI opened its Trump-Russia investigation on July 31, 2016, after receiving a tip from an Australian diplomat.
However, a Stzrok text message to Page on July 28, 2017, the same day the Australian tip was received, says he wants to discuss ‘[o]ur open C[ounter-]I[ntelligence] investigations relating to Trump’s Russian connections’.
Durham’s ongoing probe will investigate whether the FBI had legal predicate to open the Trump-Russia investigation.