Nunes says House Intel will release Russia probe interviews

WASHINGTON — Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said he will seek to declassify about 70 interviews his House Intelligence Committee conducted in the Russia investigation before the midterm elections in the name of transparency.

“The depositions that we took, I believe about 70 people, those need to be published and I think they need to be published before the election,” Nunes told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “I expect to make those available from our committee to the American public in the next few weeks.”

Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has been a prime defender of President Trump in the House and has focused his committee’s ammunition on discrediting the Justice Department officials who initiated the Russia investigation. Nunes says certain FBI and DOJ officials “are really dirty” and releasing information to voters before they go to the polls in November will show “just how sick this Russia Kool-Aid that’s been poured upon the American people, how bad it’s really been.”

Trump retweeted support for Nunes’ announcement and praised the show, hosted by Maria Bartiromo, as “MANDATORY watching if you want to understand the massive governmental corruption and the Russian Hoax.”

Nunes said about “70 or 80 percent” of the depositions his committee took are not classified and can be released and the rest would need approval from the Director of National Intelligence.

“We hope that that would only take a matter of days, and they don’t do their normal foot-dragging,” Nunes said.

Democrats had been demanding the release of the witness interviews.

“Nunes promised to release all the witness interviews, then reneged,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, tweeted. “We hope this time he will follow through. The American people deserve to see what the witnesses said, the many questions they would not answer, and the how often the Majority — to protect Trump — let them refuse.”

Nunes last year recused himself as chairman from the committee on Russian matters amid ethics concerns that he’s too cozy with the White House. His committee released a GOP report on the results of their investigation in April that concluded there was “no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government.”

Democrats panned the report as incomplete and partisan.

Separately, a group of House Republicans, led by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) are pressing Trump to declassify Justice officials’ request to surveil Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, believing it will show abuse of the FISA court. They are also seeking declassification of memos related DOJ official Bruce Ohr’s interactions with Christopher Steele, the author of a controversial dossier that alleged Trump ties with Russia.

“If the president wants the American people to really understand just how broad and invasive this investigation has been to many Americans, and how unfair it has been, he has no choice but to declassify,” Nunes said.

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