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Lawmaker: House Intel Committee is a joke

Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle says House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes is playing politics after urging lawmakers to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt over his recusal from the Russia investigation.

Posted: May 8, 2018 12:08 PM
Updated: May 8, 2018 12:08 PM

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes warned Sunday that he plans to urge lawmakers "this week" to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of Congress for failing to hand over classified materials related to the Russia investigation.

But the Justice Department informed Nunes three days ago -- on the deadline for responding to a subpoena from Nunes' committee -- that providing the information on a "specific individual" could pose grave implications for national security, according to a letter obtained by CNN.

"Disclosure of responsive information to such requests can risk severe consequences, including potential loss of human lives, damage to relationships with valued international partners, compromise of ongoing criminal investigations, and interference with intelligence activities," wrote Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd, who heads the Justice Department's Office of Legislative Affairs.

It was not immediately clear why Nunes has targeted Sessions. A source familiar with the matter said that the request falls squarely within Sessions' recusal from all materials related to the Russia investigation. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has been fielding the document requests in his place.

Nunes has not described precisely what information he's seeking, but he said Sunday on "Fox and Friends" that it's "very important."

"We're just not going to take this nonsense of every time we peel something back, every time we need information, we get ignored, we get stalled or stonewalled," Nunes said.

The Justice Department and the California Republican have been down this road before. CNN reported Friday that Nunes threatened to hold Justice Department officials in contempt of Congress on several occasions for failing to turn over sensitive documents related to the Russia investigation only to not read the materials once they were made available to him.

When asked about CNN's reporting by Fox News' Laura Ingraham on Friday evening, Nunes said he wouldn't play "process games" or discuss "specifics about how we conduct our investigation," emphasizing that Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina has read them instead, which CNN has reported.

Despite not reading the documents, Nunes' past threats, with the backing of the White House and House Speaker Paul Ryan, have resulted in the Justice Department making a significant amount of classified materials related to the Russia investigation available to lawmakers, including the document that formally authorized the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, the controversial surveillance warrants on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, and the records related to the infamous dossier on Trump and Russia.

This time, the Justice Department appears to have the backing of the White House in resisting Nunes' request -- at least for now.

Boyd's letter makes clear that the Justice Department determined after consulting with the White House, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence that it was "not in a position to provide information responsive to your request regarding a specific individual."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
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Johnson15140295
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Grant6011116
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 864322

Reported Deaths: 10711
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101705707
Cuyahoga860661145
Hamilton64392448
Montgomery43309418
Summit35063761
Lucas31500625
Butler31128232
Stark25933435
Warren19746141
Lorain19165223
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Licking13274137
Fairfield1287781
Trumbull12861316
Greene12114139
Medina11666168
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Wood10407158
Allen9945126
Portage9382109
Miami921073
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Tuscarawas7410182
Columbiana7356124
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Muskingum705241
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Hancock554390
Ross5532100
Scioto541664
Geauga513555
Darke471092
Lawrence457958
Ashtabula454673
Union454628
Sandusky438562
Mercer434489
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Jefferson420569
Belmont417740
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Athens38129
Putnam376275
Madison356529
Knox354422
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Preble321437
Brown313921
Logan309132
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Clinton290743
Williams279467
Highland276718
Jackson265345
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Perry232018
Holmes225674
Henry220149
Hardin214033
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Gallia198826
Wyandot196151
Pike177417
Adams176915
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Carroll156216
Paulding144721
Noble120740
Meigs109024
Monroe101032
Harrison89421
Morgan83430
Vinton70813
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