by Chuck Ross
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said this week that Democrats and the media are likely to be “frightened” by the information contained in Trump-Russia documents that Republicans are asking President Donald Trump to declassify.
Speaking at an event hosted by the Center for Security Policy on Thursday, Nunes said that Trump is close to declassifying portions of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant granted against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
On July 21, the Justice Department released heavily redacted versions of four FISA warrants granted against Page from Oct. 2016 through June 2017.
The unredacted portions showed that the FBI relied heavily on the infamous Steele dossier to obtain the warrants. Republicans have accused the FBI of abusing the FISA process by citing the dossier even though it was unverified and financed by Democrats as part of an opposition research project.
Before that release, Nunes and other Republicans on the House Intelligence panel sent a letter to Trump calling on him to declassify and release 21 pages of the fourth and final FISA warrant.
“In the course of the Committee’s investigation, we have uncovered irregularities with the process by which DOJ and FBI obtained information and sought and renewed three times a warrant pursuant to FISA on U.S citizen Carter Page,” the letter reads.
Nunes, a close ally of Trump’s, noted that Democrats and media pundits claimed after the initial release of the FISA warrants that “the really bad stuff about the Trump campaign was buried in the redactions.”
“And I said, you know what, you might be right. We should declassify the whole thing,” Nunes said Thursday, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
Nunes said that Trump’s critics have backed away from that argument out of fear that the rest of the FISA application will be damaging to the FBI and the narrative that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government.
“And you know why? Because I think they’re going to be frightened by what you see,” Nunes said of Democrats and the press.
Nunes’ comments echoed remarks he made in an interview on Fox News on July 29.
“We are quite confident that once the American people see these 20 pages, at least for those that will get real reporting on this issue, they will be shocked by what’s in that FISA application,” Nunes told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo.
Republicans are also pressing Trump to release summaries of interviews that the FBI conducted with Bruce Ohr, the Justice Department official whose wife worked for Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned the dossier.
Ohr was in contact with dossier author Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS. The FBI conducted at least 12 interviews with Ohr from November 2016 to May 2017 following his contacts with Steele and Simpson.
Congressional sources have told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Trump is likely to declassify the FISA documents first and then release the Ohr reports.
Sources also claim that the FISA application will be damning for the FBI both because of the information in the documents as well as information that was left out of them. Republican have hinted that the FBI failed to include exculpatory information about Trump associates in the FISA applications.
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Chuck Ross is a reporter at Daily Caller news Foundation. Follow Chuck on Twitter.