Washington, D.C. – House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, talking with Sunday on Fox and Friends, said he will “move quickly to hold the attorney general of the United States in contempt.”
After Nunes initially sent a letter to Sessions two weeks ago requesting classified information regarding counterintelligence investigations and FISA abuses, which he said was not acknowledged by the Department of Justice, Nunes followed up with a subpoena last week.
Nunes’ warning about holding Sessions in contempt comes in response to Attorney General Sessions’ refusal to comply with that subpoena.
On Thursday “we discovered that they are not going to comply with our subpoena,” he said. While the House intelligence chairman didn’t specify the exact information he was seeking from the DOJ, he called it “very important” information.
.@DevinNunes: “We have to move quickly to hold the Attorney General of the United States in contempt and that’s what I’m going to press for this week.” pic.twitter.com/9jgKzJcjiT
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 6, 2018
The official Justice Department letter refusing to comply with Nunes subpoena was shared with the Washington Examiner, and explained:
“After careful evaluation and following consultations with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the White House, the Department has determined that, consistent with applicable law and longstanding Executive Branch policy, it is not in a position to provide information responsive to your request regarding a specific individual,” Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote in the letter.
Holding an attorney general in contempt is not without precedent, as the Washington Examiner reported that Congress voted in 2012 to hold then-AG Eric Holder in contempt for “not complying with the investigation into the Obama administration’s Operation Fast and Furious, which included gun trafficking across the border.”
Nunes explained that holding Sessions in contempt is the cumulative result of repeatedly being stifled by the DOJ in procuring information and documentation relating to the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into government surveillance relating to politicized FISA abuses in surveilling Trump campaign officials.
The California congressman said he’s not going to take any “excuse” that relates to alleged concerns about national security, asking “How many times have we heard this argument throughout this investigation?”