If anyone thought the GOP was investigating the origins of the Russia collusion probe simply for show after special counsel Robert Mueller’s bust of a hearing before Congress, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) appeared on Sunday Morning Futures and told Maria Bartiromo what they are specifically trying to determine.
Republican California Rep. Devin Nunes said there are three known groups that need to be examined to understand fully the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.
During an interview Sunday on Fox News, the top Republican said the Justice Department, which is conducting a so-called investigation into the investigators, needs to determine the intersection of the FBI, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and Fusion GPS, and a group of people at Cambridge University in London.
“Those are the three entities that we know,” Nunes told host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures. “What the DOJ needs to get to the bottom of is, when did these all intersect? You don’t get that until you start to interview people and remember the Mueller team never bothered to interview many of these folks.”
Nunes also said he’s interested in determining when Mueller knew during his investigation that there had been no criminal collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, as well as when the investigation into the campaign actually began.
The issue of when the investigation into the campaign began is related to allegations that Trump advisor George Papadopoulos was informed by Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud about mysterious dir the Russians had on Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulos then told Australian diplomat Alexander Downer that news leading, according to the FBI, to the opening of the Russia probe into the Trump campaign in July 2016.
Nunes has doubts about this chain of events, telling Bartiromo “it is clear” the FBI had already begun their investigation before July.
“What we’re trying to figure out is when did the FBI really start to run the investigation? What sort of processes did they use? What was the predicate?” Nunes said. “It really appears like they were spying on the Trump campaign.”
Beyond the FBI, the Clinton campaign, and Fusion GPS, Nunes said “these intelligence-related folks” at Cambridge University need to be placed under scrutiny. He name-dropped Steven Schrage, an American citizen who helped organize a symposium in July 2016, which would be before the FBI’s counterintelligence operation officially began. During Mueller’s testimony last week, the California congressman asked the former special counsel to confirm whether his office did not investigate who was responsible for inviting Trump campaign associates Page and Stephen Miller to this symposium. Mueller declined to answer.
Nunes was by Bartiromo prompted to speak about efforts by possible U.S. informants to “entrap” people tied to Trump campaign, including a $10,000 payment to Papadopoulos in 2017 during Mueller’s investigation just before he was arrested by the FBI, and contacts between Cambridge University figures and former national security adviser Michael Flynn that date back years before the 2016 election.
Nunes also expressed an interest in discovering how much the now-infamous Steele dossier was used to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump associate Carter Page, and who comprised Mueller’s report team.
“This is nothing more, nothing less than a cover-up,” Nunes told Bartiromo on Sunday.