Nunes: Only Speaker Ryan or Trump Can Force Rosenstein to Turn Over Subpoenaed Documents

By Susan Jones | June 14, 2018 | 8:02am EDT
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) says he's run out of patience with the Trump Justice Department, which refuses to turn over subpoenaed documents. (Photo: Screen capture/Fox News)

( - "What people should be concerned about the most right now is obstruction of a valid congressional investigation by the Department of Justice," Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House intelligence committee, told Fox News's Sean Hannity Wednesday night.

Nunes said he's run out of patience with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is still refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents that may shed light on FISA abuse.

Nunes said as of now, there are only two ways to force Rosenstein's hand:

"One, we can hold Mr. Rosenstein and others at the Department of Justice in contempt and impeach. The other way would be for the President of the United States to demand them, to order them, to give us all the documents. Those are really the only two ways that we can get those documents."


Hannity asked Nunes if he's willing to go as far as impeaching Rosenstein:

"Look, I already wanted to move to contempt months ago. The speaker of the House believes he can work with DOJ, and we're going to continue to try to work that path tomorrow (Thursday). But I can tell you that my patience has run out. I have none left. And now it's really up to the leadership of the house and the President of the United States in order to make sure that our subpoena gets complied with."

Nunes noted that the committee he chairs has been investigating FISA abuse and other matters for a year and a half: "We now are at the end. We need documents to actually get to the bottom of what actually happened in this situation."

But the Justice Department is obstructing, Nunes said: Not only has the Trump Justice Department kicked out the intelligence committee's lead investigators and staff -- "now they have kicked out all the House intelligence committee members, so the only ones they're going to provide documents to in the whole entire House of Representatives, only two Republicans -- Paul Ryan, the speaker, and myself.

"This is totally acceptable," Nunes said. "It's a classic case of obstruction of a congressional investigation. The problem we have here is, who's going to investigate the investigators?"

Nunes said the Justice Department is supposed to let him and Paul Ryan see the subpoenaed documents today.

“If there's no FISA abuse here, if there are no problems with the FISA application, if there were no problems, if informants or spies or whatever were run into the trump campaign, all you have to do is show the house intelligence committee all of the documents. Let the investigators comb through the documents. And look, we are not getting that, so what does that tell you? We would exonerate them in a second.

“So where does this lead?” Nunes asked. “Tomorrow we have this IG report coming out. I think this is going to be the first step for America and the Department of Justice and the FBI to begin the healing process. The healing process would be made much easier if we could complete that by them delivering all of the documents to us.”

Did Rosenstein threaten House intel staff?

On another matter -- reports that Rod Rosenstein threatened to subpoena the emails and phone information of House intelligence committee staffers at a tense meeting in January -- Nunes said yes, "the staff definitely felt threatened."


Listen, this has been going on for -- since last August. We subpoenaed them last August...We continue to try to get documents. We can't get documents. We've had many, what I would say, altercations with the deputy attorney general and his staff. What I think is inappropriate -- I am fine. I can take the heat. You can attack me all you want. I'm used to it. I enjoy it.

However, when it comes to attacking staff and when the staff feels uncomfortable, that's when you've gone too far. The staff are citizens of the United States who work hard for their country, they're patriots. They don't have the ability to come on television like I do and plead my case. So look, the staff definitely have felt threatened.

Just recently, the staff were all kicked out of the room. What people should be concerned about the most right now is obstruction of a valid congressional investigation by the department of justice.

Nunes said Rosenstein is obstructing and "misleading" Congress by making the subpoenaed information "super top-secret" so only select members of Congress can see it.

“That's what's happening here. People in America should be alarmed. This is a way to hide information not only from the American people but to their congressmen and to the staff that work for these people."

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