Rep. Brad Wenstrup on Thursday blasted Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for ignoring Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuse while holding a public hearing that was boycotted by House Republicans.
“If this was a key hearing, why was it done in an unclassified setting. If it’s a key hearing, it should have been done in a classified setting where we can discuss classified and sensitive material,” Wenstrup, R-Ohio, told “Fox & Friends.”
“This was a publicity stunt,” Wenstrup said, highlighting that the event was done solely to show that House Democrats are focused on matters other than attacking President Trump, alluding to the past impeachment push.
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee dramatically boycotted the public hearing Wednesday morning, after accusing Chairman Schiff of ignoring FISA abuse following the release of a scathing Justice Department inspector general report that revealed significant misconduct.
The House Intelligence Subcommittee on Strategic Technologies and Advance Research (STAR) held a hearing on “Emerging Technologies and National Security” on Wednesday. Every GOP member skipped the forum, blasting it as a “publicity” event.
In a letter obtained by Fox News, Reps. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and Chris Stewart, R-Utah, the ranking members of the committee and subcommittee, respectively, joined GOP colleagues in criticizing Schiff for not holding hearings on FISA in the wake of the IG report.
The Republicans’ letter comes after Inspector General Michael Horowitz issued a long-awaited report finding that the FBI made repeated errors and misrepresentations before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court as the FBI sought to monitor Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in 2016 and 2017.
Horowitz confirmed that the FBI’s FISA applications to monitor Page heavily relied on the unverified Trump dossier and news reports rooted in unverified research by dossier author Christopher Steele.
“Our problem right now is why have we not had the inspector general in to talk about the FISA abuse,” Wenstrup said.
“Adam Schiff does not want the inspector general to come in and brief us. The Senate has done it and we have not had the opportunity to get with the inspector general to discuss this,” Wenstrup said.
Horowitz appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in December after issuing a report that laid out "significant concerns with how certain aspects of the [Russia] investigation were conducted and supervised."
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.