Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is calling for a criminal referral to investigate why the FBI and Department of Justice failed to previously turn over certain text messages from former FBI agent Peter Strzok that he said would have been key for Republicans’ investigation of the Russia probe.
Troves of messages from Strzok had been made public in the past, but the DOJ released additional messages earlier this month after Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, requested their release. Nunes complained that they should have already been released to members of Congress.
"This is clearly lying and obstructing Congress. This is information that we asked for numerous times," Nunes said.
"We sat in meetings with DOJ and FBI, and they sat there and stone cold said there’s no more information, there’s no more text messages."
The newly released messages include communication referencing the Russia investigation before it officially began, as well as a July 2017 message dealing with the nature of the probe itself, in which Strzok said he was worried "about having this as a [counterintelligence] case when we are really doing a criminal investigation."
"These were the text messages that we really needed to run a proper investigation," Nunes said. "Instead we had to go around we had to rely on informants, we had to piece all this together in order to get this out to the American people that hey, Trump campaign and Republicans were not only spied on but this was wrong."
Nunes was confident that Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, who has been leading an investigation of his own into the Russia probe’s origins, will take action.
"I don’t see how John Durham can’t bust several people for lying and misleading Congress," he said.