House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes confirmed that his staff “definitely have felt threatened” by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
The California Republican condemned alleged threats by Rosenstein to subpoena Republican staffers on the House panel, saying that was going too far.
Nunes has been battling Rosenstein and FBI officials over documents used to spy on several Trump campaign advisers and GOP lawmakers have accused the Justice Department of intimidation tactics during a tense closed-door meeting in January.
“We continue to try to get documents. We can’t get documents,” Nunes explained to Fox News’ Sean Hannity about the ongoing battle with the DOJ since last August.
“We’ve had many, what I would say, altercations with the deputy attorney general and his staff, Nunes said. “What I think is inappropriate – I’m fine, I can take the heat. You can attack me all you want. I enjoy it. However, when it comes to attacking staff, and when staff feel uncomfortable, that’s when you’ve gone too far.”
Calling staff members “patriots” who “work hard for their country,” Nunes pointed out they do not have the ability to come on television and plead their case as the chairman does.
“The staff definitely have felt threatened. Just recently the staff were all kicked out of the room,” Nunes added, noting that people should be most concerned with the obstruction by the DOJ.
Justice Department officials have denied the allegations, saying Rosenstein never threatened anyone in the room. Attorney General Jeff Sessions came to Rosenstein’s defense, sparking backlash when he said reports about the alleged threats were a “mis-characterization” of what really happened.
Sessions defends Rosenstein against report he threatened Congress, quickly gets challenged by lawmakers https://t.co/NviQlNTDCw pic.twitter.com/6Mfa4aOszP
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 13, 2018
Rosenstein will reportedly be requesting the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence open an internal investigation of the Congressional staffers
Nunes, meanwhile, has referred the incident to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office.
“We’ve been investigating this for a year and a half,” he explained. “We now are at the end. We need documents to actually get to the bottom of what actually happened in this situation. They now, just in the last weeks, have kicked out the staff, the lead investigators on this. Now they’ve kicked out all of the House Intelligence Committee members.”
Nunes called out the “obstruction,” questioning “who’s going to investigate the investigators.”
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