(CNSNews.com) - Republicans investigating the origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation now say a third Democrat-connected source was directly feeding political dirt to the FBI before the 2016 election.
We've already heard about Christopher Steele, the "dossier" author, who was paid by the Clinton campaign and the DNC – through the law firm Perkins Coie -- to dig up dirt on Trump; and Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official, whose wife Nellie worked at Fusion GPS, Steele’s employer.
Republicans say both Steele and Ohr were feeding opposition research directly to the FBI in an effort to launch the Trump-Russia investigation.
And now press reports have identified a third man, Michael Sussmann, an attorney with Perkins Coie, who was named to the Democrat National Committee's Cybersecurity and Privacy Advisory Board in August 2016, following the DNC hack.
Appearing on "Sunday Morning Futures," Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House intelligence committee, said James Baker, a former top lawyer at the FBI, gave some important testimony at a hearing last week:
"James Baker was the top lawyer at the FBI, reported directly to James Comey," Nunes said.
"Numerous officials" at the FBI and DOJ have told Congress that "nobody at FBI or DOJ knew anything about the Democratic Party being behind the Clinton dirt," Nunes said.
"Well, now you have one of the top lawyers for the Democrats and the Clinton campaign who was feeding information directly to the top lawyer at the FBI … before even the (first) FISA warrant.
"So now you have absolute proof that wasn't told to the FISA court. So you want your evidence of FISA abuse? There it is right there. A secret warrant was ... placed on an American citizen during a political campaign, and yet the FBI didn't tell the court that they were getting this information directly from the opponent of that campaign."
"This is really bad stuff," Nunes continued. "It's very simple. I mean, we just had -- it's not complicated. People should know, it's probably not appropriate for a top lawyer of the Democratic Party to take dirt and give it to the top lawyer at the FBI."
Nunes says the FISA judge was never told that the information used to get the Carter Page warrant "was coming from the DNC."
"And not only that," Nunes said. "Many officials have told us numerous times that they had no idea where it's coming from. And don't forget, you had – originally, the story from FBI and DOJ was that Republicans had started this information and given this information. And that has been totally blown out of the water. Republicans had nothing to do with it. And the top levels of the FBI absolutely knew this, right?
"I mean, you can't possibly argue that the top lawyer for the FBI meets with the top lawyer from the Democratic Party and just doesn't tell anyone?"
"And so then you fast-forward. Four months later, four months later, when they come and present the information to Congress, they say, well, we believe that Republicans were behind this.
“No, Republicans were never behind it,” Nunes said. “You knew the whole time who was behind it. The Democrats were. And it was so explosive and so damaging, that that's why they didn't want us to know.
“And this is why the president of the United States has got to declassify the information we have been asking for. If he doesn't declassify it, he's going to let these criminals, this criminal activity and fraudulent behavior, people are going to get away with it, if this information is not declassified, so that all the American people can see."
Republicans want certain information about the origins of the Trump-Russia probe declassified before the election, in case Democrats retake the House and shut down the current investigations into alleged FISA abuse.
In response to a question, Nunes said he does not want the Mueller investigation to be shut down:
"What I want the investigation to do is determine who leaked the Flynn conversations, who leaked General Flynn's conversations. I want them to investigate that.
“I want them to investigate who was behind Fusion GPS. Who was Fusion GPS talking to? What Russians were they talking to? Who was Christopher Steele talking to? I want to know all the Russians that Fusion GPS interviewed, got information from, funneled into the Democrat Party, and then the Democratic Party funneled to the FBI to open an investigation.
"That's what the Mueller investigation should be looking at. Because I don't know what the hell they were looking at this whole time."