The Department of Justice spied on congressional staff working under then-Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., as the Republican lawmaker investigated FBI abuses amid the Russia hoax.
On Thursday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding answers about agency surveillance of Republican staff on Capitol Hill.
“In 2017, Google reportedly received subpoenas for private emails and records belonging to two Republican staffers of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) while HPSCI was investigating the FBI’s misconduct,” Jordan wrote. “These subpoenas only came to light in 2022 due to Google’s policy of alerting customers five years after law enforcement takes such action.”
At that time, Nunes was the Republican ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee while Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif, ran a deep-state campaign to maliciously frame President Donald Trump as a Russian agent. Schiff was censured by the lower chamber last month for abusing his role on the Intelligence Committee to undermine the legitimacy of the 2016 election.
Nunes retired from Congress in January last year to run Trump’s online alternative to Twitter, Truth Social. As the No. 2 lawmaker on the Intelligence Committee, Nunes was instrumental in pushing back on trumped-up claims of Russian collusion.
Jordan now wants to know whether the FBI subpoenas to Google seeking information from Nunes’ staff were submitted in “retaliation for HSPCI’s oversight of the FBI.”
In May, Special Counsel John Durham published his long-awaited report on the Russia-collusion hoax, which found that “neither U.S. law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”
Jordan wrote that the report “confirms many of the concerns about FBI misconduct advanced by HPSCI in 2017.”
Nunes’ work rejecting the Russia hoax narratives peddled by Schiff was entirely vindicated once Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence that anyone on the Trump campaign, let alone Trump himself, colluded with the Russian government to steal the White House. Nunes was further vindicated when the DOJ inspector general published a report in 2019 detailing a wide range of abuses within the FBI to advance the conspiracy. The California representative himself even became the target of defamatory lies from Trump’s opponents.
Jordan’s letter to the FBI director comes just a day after Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee. Lawmakers pressed Wray on myriad agency issues, including the FBI’s abuse of surveillance powers as Congress prepares to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Wray pressed for the reauthorization of a surveillance tool known as Section 702 of FISA that allows the FBI to conduct warrantless searches. The law is scheduled to expire at the end of the year.