House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced on Fox News Sunday that he is prepared to send eight criminal referrals to the Department of Justice related to the origins of the FBI's counter-intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign, which later morphed into special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
Nunes' announcement came just weeks after Mueller concluded that Trump's campaign did not collude with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
What did Nunes say?
Speaking with Maria Bartiromo on "Sunday Morning Futures," Nunes said "Watergate wannabes" within the government, with the help of the mainstream media, perpetuated the myth of Trump-Russia collusion, only resulting in "unbelievable disclosures of classified information."
To combat illegal conduct within the government, Nunes said he has prepared eight criminal referrals for Attorney General William Barr, which he will hand over this week.
"We're prepared this week to notify the attorney general that we're prepared to send those referrals over," Nunes said, explaining his team has been working on the notices for more than two years.
"First of all, all of these are classified or sensitive," Nunes said. "Five of them are what I would call straight up referrals — so just referrals that name someone and name the specific crimes. Those crimes are lying to Congress, misleading Congress, leaking classified information. So five of them are those types."
Of the remaining three referrals, Nunes explained:
There are three that I think are more complicated. So, you mentioned conspiracy. So, the question on conspiracy is what, there's the conspiracy statute, and then what do they need to look at under that statute. So, on the first one, is FISA abuse and other matters. We believe there is a conspiracy to lie to the FISA Court, mislead the FISA court by numerous individuals that all need to be investigative and looked at. The second conspiracy one is involving manipulation of intelligence. That also could ensnare many Americans and we are, so that's kind of the second one.
As you know, we've had a lot of concerns with the way intelligence was used. So that would be the two conspiracy recommendations, referrals, that we're making.
The third is what I would call a "global leak referral." So, there are about a dozen highly sensitive classified information leaks that were given to only a few reporters over the last two and a half-plus years, so we don't know if there's actually been any leak investigations that have been opened, but we do believe that we've got pretty good information and a pretty good idea of who could be behind these leaks. Doesn't mean we know all the people behind the leaks because when you read these a lot of these they're always anonymous sources, and they always say something to the effect of "current and former senior officials."
Nunes said he has a "pretty good idea" of the identifies behind the intelligence leaks, although he did not reveal additional details because the referrals are classified.
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