House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said Sunday that the special counsel’s indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers “would look ridiculous” had President Donald Trump declassified portions of a congressional report that laid out Russian efforts to steal and disseminate Democrats’ emails.
That’s because, according to Nunes, an Intelligence Committee report released to the public on April 27 contained “almost everything” laid out in Mueller’s indictment, which was handed down Friday.
The indictment accuses military intelligence officers with Russia’s GRU of hacking into the DNC and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton campaign’s computer networks and releasing stolen documents through the fake online personas, Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks. (RELATED: Mueller Indicts 12 Russians Involved In Hacks Of Democrats)
Nunes said in an interview on “Fox Sunday Futures” that much of the information was included in Chapter 2 of the House Intelligence Committee’s report, but it was heavily redacted in response to requests from the Department of Justice and intelligence community.
Nunes, an ally of Trump’s, suggested that Trump missed an opportunity by failing to declassify the Intelligence Committee report, which was written by Republicans without support from committee Democrats.
“If the President of the United States had declassified this … the Mueller indictment would look ridiculous today if this was unredacted and declassified,” Nunes said Sunday.
Nunes’ call for declassification mark a subtle shift in the Republican’s public stance on the Russia investigation. He only recently started calling on Trump to declassify documents related to the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government. The comments suggest that Nunes believes that the only way that the public will see some of the information about the Justice Department and FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign is if Trump orders the documents be declassified.
Nunes said that the committee’s investigators have had information on the Russian spies for over a year. The committee began investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign back in January 2017. Committee Republicans ended their investigation on March 12, saying that they found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
Nunes said that if the information in the Intelligence Committee’s report had been declassified, “the American people would have known we basically wrote the indictment for Mueller.”
“The House Republicans without the support of Democrats, wrote the indictment for the Mueller special counsel, essentially,” added Nunes.
The Intelligence Committee obtained information about the Russian hacking effort, though not the names of the 12 GRU officials who directed the campaign.
The Intelligence Committee report devotes 16 pages to Russia’s cyber efforts. Several pages are completely blacked out due to redactions. Parts of the analysis that are viewable refer to Guccifer 2.0, DCLeaks and Wikileaks.
The Intelligence Committee report asserts that “Wikileaks played a key role in Russia’s malign influence campaign and served as a third party intermediary for Russian intelligence during the period leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”
Mueller’s indictment does not refer to Wikileaks by name, referring to the group only as “Organization 1.”
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