Nunes: Republicans Sending 8 Criminal Referrals to AG Barr This Week

By Susan Jones | April 8, 2019 | 8:02am EDT
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

( - Now that a "real attorney general" is charge of the Justice Department, the ranking member of the House intelligence committee says he's ready to do some "cleanup."

"We have eight referrals that we are prepared to send over to the attorney general this week," Rep. Devin Nunes told "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo.

"All of these are classified or sensitive," Nunes said, which means he cannot discuss them in detail.

Five of them are what I would call straight-up referrals, so just referrals that are -- that name someone and name the specific crimes. Those crimes are lying to Congress, misleading Congress, leaking classified information. So, five of them are those types.

There are three that I think are more complicated. So you mentioned conspiracy. So the question on conspiracy is what -- there's the conspiracy statute, and then what do they need to look at under that statute?

So, on the first one, it's FISA abuse and other matters. We believe there is a conspiracy to lie to the FISA court, mislead the FISA court by numerous individuals that all need to be investigated and looked at that -- and we believe the statute is the conspiracy statute.

The second conspiracy one is involving manipulation of intelligence. That also could ensnarl many Americans. And we are -- so that's kind of the second one. As you know, we have had a lot of concerns with the way intelligence was used. So that would be kind of the two conspiracy recommendations, referrals that we're making.

The third is what I would call a global leak referral. So there are about a dozen highly sensitive classified information leaks that were given to only a few reporters over the last two-and-a-half-plus years. So we don't know if there's actually been any leak investigations that have been opened, but we do believe that we have got pretty good information and a pretty good idea of who could be behind these leaks.

It doesn't mean we know all the people who are behind the leaks, because, when you read these, a lot of these, they're always anonymous sources, and they always say something to the effect of current and former senior officials.

So we think we have got a pretty good idea of who some of the sources are behind these leaks. We don't know if the Department of Justice has been looking at these. But there's just been unprecedented things have happened.

And I will just close with this. You had conversations with the president of the United States and the prime minister of Australia leak. You had leaks of the president talking, President Trump talking to the Mexican president leak.

We all know the travesty of General Flynn. Nobody knows where those supposed transcripts came from. So those are just kind of three examples that are absolutely horrific. But there's things that are even worse that were leaked.

And there is only a couple -- two or three reporters involved in this. And so it wouldn't be hard to get to the bottom of. But you have got to -- so, we're prepared to make those eight referrals this week, so the two on conspiracy, the one on global leaks, and then five that are more specific on lying, leaking, and misleading Congress.

Nunes said people in the legislative branch of government can only investigate. "As everyone knows, that's what we have been doing for two-and-a-half years. But we don't have the power to arrest, or convict, so we have to take these criminal referrals to the Department of Justice with all of our -- all the information, all of the work that we have done, ask the Department of Justice to take these up.

"And, look, maybe the Department of Justice already has investigations open, and maybe they don't. But they are the investigative arm. Now, it gets more complicated because you have the top officials in the Department of Justice and the FBI that are likely involved in the referrals that we're going to make.

"So, with that said, this is why it's so sensitive, why we want to give this directly to the attorney general and let him decide how to take these -- these referrals."

Nunes said he would be surprised if the Justice Department doesn't act on the referrals, some of which are "very simple, could be prosecuted in a short amount of time."

Nunes would not give any names, but he said people who hav been following "Russia-gate" would know a lot of them.

"But there's five that are straight up, five names. Then there are -- when you get to the leaks, we don't know. We think there's only a few people behind these leaks, but there could be multiple people.

"So, on the leak -- the global leak referral, there could be several individuals. When you look at the conspiracy, I mean, that could get up to a dozen, two dozen people. So, for example, we don't know all the people that are involved," Nunes said.

"Look, we know Strzok and Page. And we know their involvement because they have been interviewed. But there's other people that were above Strzok and below Strzok that have not been interviewed. So we don't know if they're involved in this conspiracy or not."

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