Intelligence panel chair reviewed sensitive file on White House grounds

Mar 28, 2017, 00:44
Intelligence panel chair reviewed sensitive file on White House grounds

A senior United States congressman who claimed communications involving Donald Trump's associates were caught up in "incidental" surveillance has said he met his source on the grounds of the White House.

The spokesman for Mr. Nunes, Jack Langer, said the congressman met with his source at the White House because he needed access to a secure facility where people with security clearances can legally view classified information. Trump and his defenders have seized on Nunes' allegations as cover for the President's unsubstantiated claim that Trump Tower was wiretapped by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Representative Devin Nunes, a Republican from California, declined to identify his source, but said it was an intelligence official, not a White House staffer. Now, CNN is reporting, and Nunes confirms, that he met on White House grounds with the source of documents detailing the intelligence, but he insists no one at the White House was made aware of his meetings, rather, the White House grounds were just used as a sort of safe place for him and his source to go over the documents.

Meanwhile, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has volunteered to be interviewed by the committee in its investigation into Russia's interference in the presidential election, Nunes revealed on Friday.

The chairman then went to the White House to brief the president on his findings, leaving fellow committee members out of the loop.

"Every non-White House staffer must be cleared in by a current White House staffer", the official said.

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Some experts agree, including Jonathan Adler, a professor at Case Western University School of Law. The Department of Justice said it was reviewing the filings and would respond to the court.

Nunes, who was part of Trump's transition team, said the monitoring was not connected to Russian Federation and couldn't provide evidence supporting the president's claim that he was personally wiretapped at Trump Tower.

Nunes' apparent loyalty to Donald Trump, his management of the committee investigating Trump, and his involvement with disgraced former national security advisor Michael Flynn would all seem to make his position as lead congressional investigator untenable.

He told CNN he wanted to "reiterate this has nothing to do with Russian Federation".

Nunes, as you may know already if you are following this stupid story from Stupidville, then came back to the White House last Wednesday to brief Trump on what Nunes has described as evidence that the names of Trump associates who were incidentally caught up in US surveillance of other targets may have been inappropriately included in intelligence reports.

Nunes' office said the information provided to the chairman came from "executive branch documents that have not been provided to Congress".

Several congressional committees, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US intelligence community, are investigating Russian meddling in the USA election, including the hacking and release of Democratic emails. Nunes told me that he expects that his committee's members, including Democrats, will be able to read these documents themselves at secure locations outside of Congress as soon as this week. And does that mean that the White House was a part of this? We need an independent, bipartisan commission to take on this investigation with a special prosecutor who can act free from influence.

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