House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) won’t be wasting the taxpayers’ time or money investigating the non-issue of General Michael Flynn’s contact and conversations with Russian representatives, something he is surely not the first National Security Adviser to engage in prior to his assuming his official duties. He cited executive privilege in his explanation.
He will instead be directing his efforts into investigating the source of the leaks that led to General Flynn’s resignation.
The story, which was first reported by the Washington Post, detailed the conversation, with the New York Times noting that it was based upon information obtained in a wiretap of the Russian diplomat.
The Washington Post cited nine anonymous current and former officials “who were in senior positions at multiple agencies” and who “had access to reports from U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies that routinely monitor the communications of Russian diplomats.”
Nunes intends to pursue those responsible for the leaks, saying on Tuesday, “That’s nine leakers that all belong in jail. Those nine people broke the law, clearly, by leaking classified information to anybody.”
Not only are those nine headed to jail if Nunes can figure out who they are, he also wants an explanation for why US intelligence agencies were wiretapping General Flynn’s calls, which may also have been illegal.
He says the only ways that intelligence agencies can legally eavesdrop on an American’s phone call are either after obtaining a warrant or inadvertently, as was the case with General Flynn when he was speaking with a foreign official, the Russian Ambassador, who was the subject of the wiretap.
According to Rep Nunes, “It’s pretty clear that’s not the case. I’m pretty sure the FBI didn’t have a warrant on Michael Flynn … To listen to an American’s phone call you would have to go to a court, there’d be all that paperwork there. So I’m guessing that doesn’t exist.”
Nunes also says there is supposed to be a process in place for masking General Flynn’s identity when speaking to a foreign official. He said, “Unless it’s a high-level national security issue, and then someone would have to unmask the name, someone at the highest levels, they’d have to unmask that name,”
He added, “It’s a very high threshold to unmask an American citizen’s name, that’s a very high threshold, almost unprecedented. And if you were going to unmask it, it seems like you would immediately go get a warrant. If they did that, how does all that get out to the public which is another leak of classified information. Whoever did it, it’s illegal.”
Nunes is seeking additional information from the FBI as to the details of just what took place. He added, “There’s nothing to investigate until I know what happened.”
Remember Chuck Schumer warned President Trump about crossing the intelligence agencies, polygraph him, for starters, Congressman.
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