A case involving special counsel John Durham uncovered more documents than Congress was able to get when Devin Nunes was a leading member of the House, the former congressman said on Sunday.
Kash Patel, who was an aide to Republicans when they controlled the House Intelligence Committee under then-Chairman Nunes, said on Sunday that FBI notes disclosed as part of Durham's case against Democratic cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann were subpoenaed by Nunes and "withheld" from the panel during its own Russia investigation.
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"These are documents that they clearly hid from Congress," Nunes, appearing with Patel, told host Maria Bartiromo on her Fox News program, Sunday Morning Futures.
During his time in Congress, Nunes spearheaded 14 criminal referrals to the Justice Department related to the Russia investigation and the 2016 election. Nunes resigned his House seat at the start of the year to become the CEO of Trump's media venture, Trump Media and Technology Group, which created the Truth Social platform.
"If I was still there, we would have more criminal referrals to Durham based on lying and misleading Congress," he said, citing "what we know today from Durham."
The House Intelligence Committee sent subpoenas to the FBI and Justice Department in August 2017 focused on the infamous anti-Trump dossier, a move Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who later became chairman of the panel, said was made without the support of Democratic members, according to Roll Call. “I think there’s a view if they discredit Christopher Steele, they can discredit the whole Russia investigation, or the whole Russia involvement in our elections,” he said on MSNBC in September of that year. Findings from the investigation were released in April 2018.
The notes referenced Sunday by Nunes and Patel were revealed as part of Durham's case against Democratic cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann, who is charged with lying to the FBI about whom he was representing when, in September 2016, he presented internet data that suggested a now-discredited link between former President Donald Trump and a Russian bank.
In particular, Sussmann was indicted for allegedly concealing his clients — Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign and “Tech Executive-1,” known to be former Neustar executive Rodney Joffe — from FBI general counsel James Baker. Sussmann denies lying to the FBI and has pleaded not guilty. His trial is set to begin in Washington, D.C., on Monday.
Durham, who is investigating the origins and conduct of the FBI's Russia inquiry, has one other active prosecution: a case against a key source for British ex-spy Christopher Steele's anti-Trump dossier. Durham has obtained a single guilty plea, which came from former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who admitted to altering an email about a Trump campaign aide under government surveillance.
Notes from March 2017 show Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI, said Sussmann met with the bureau in September 2016 on behalf of a client, which the defense argues "directly contradicts the Special Counsel’s core allegation in this case: that Mr. Sussmann falsely told Mr. Baker that he was not meeting with Mr. Baker on behalf of any client."
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The notes released by Sussmann's team also go well beyond the "client" debate, showing an FBI attempting to justify and explain its Trump-Russia investigation in the early days of the Trump administration, the Washington Examiner's Jerry Dunleavy reported last week.
The newly disclosed notes "put the Clinton campaign and the FBI cabal together," said Patel, who served in multiple roles in the Trump administration after leaving the House Intelligence Committee. He also noted the "most shocking news that most of the world isn’t following in John Durham’s pleadings" is how the special counsel has laid out a “joint venture conspiracy" involving people in the orbit of Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign to discredit rival Trump with Russian collusion claims.