U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., claimed that an “insurance policy” mentioned in an August 2016 text between disgraced former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page referred to their ability to obtain a FISA warrant.
"We believe that 'insurance policy' is not just about investigating the Trump campaign," said Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, during an appearance on Fox News' "Hannity" on Tuesday night. “We believe it's to ensure that they were able to get the FISA warrant on Carter Page so they could go in and look at the emails in the campaign.”
“We believe it's to ensure that they were able to get the FISA warrant on Carter Page so they could go in and look at the emails in the campaign.”
Page, a former campaign adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump, was the subject of the FISA warrant that allowed investigators to surveil him.
President Trump and Republicans say that the warrant shows the corruption of the FBI and the Department of Justice under President Obama, with then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein signing off on the warrant, and that the surveillance was illegal as it was using unverified information to justify spying on a U.S. citizen.
Portions of the FISA application have been released to the public and show that the infamous and unverified Steele Dossier was a major component of the 2016 surveillance warrant. The dossier, which was opposition research funded by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign, contains salacious allegations against Trump. It was also a major component used to justify subsequent renewals.
Nunes told host Sean Hannity that the FBI was aware of the issues surrounding the accuracy of the dossier and even knew the dossier was actually just research for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.
“These really were the perverted fantasies of [Fusion GPS Founder] Glenn Simpson working with the Clinton campaign to say 'What can we draw up here that we can spread out lies to the American people, that we can feed into the FBI and – lo and behold – let’s get an investigation going into the Trump campaign.’ That’s really what happened here,” Nunes said.
Nunes' comments come amid Attorney General Bill Barr’s move on Monday to appoint John Durham, U.S. attorney knowns as a “hard-charging, bulldog” prosecutor, to examine the origins of the Russia investigation and determine if intelligence collection efforts targeting the Trump campaign were "lawful and appropriate.”
The Trump administration has been pushing for answers on why federal authorities conducted the surveillance on the campaign and whether Democrats were the ones who improperly colluded with foreign actors.