On Friday night, Fox News host Laura Ingraham confronted House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes over recent CNN criticism about the chairman’s handling of documents.
The two were discussing FBI and DOJ documents that the committee “needed yesterday” when Ingraham brought up a recent CNN report claiming that Nunes himself “opted not to read” un-redacted documents already made available to him and Rep. Trey Gowdy at the Department of Justice. The report said Nunes instead chose to leave the task to staffers and Gowdy.
“Now you’re getting slammed in response by CNN and now others that you asked for these documents and then you, Devin Nunes, have a staffer read them,” the Fox News host said.
“You don’t read them. So how serious are you?” Ingraham asked, mimicking the hypothetical voice of a media critic. “You just want to help the president. You’re not even reading the documents. What about that CNN report that came out today?”
“Yeah, so look, I enjoy being attacked, and the first thing I will tell you is whatever CNN and the New York Times write or talk about I don’t read their information,” Nunes said.
He added that reading every document is not his role on the Committee. There are other people on the Committee, including Trey Gowdy, who are tasked with reading documents. If a member of the committee asks him to acquire a document he does his level best to get it – it is not his job to censor each and every document that is supplied.
“We’re not going to get into the specifics about how we conduct our investigation,” the congressman continued. “But I will tell you, Laura, and I’ve said this numerous times on your show and other, is that Mr. Gowdy, our lead investigator, Mr. Gowdy is the one who reviews all the initial documents with our investigators. I’m not going to get into the processes that we use, but as the chairman of the committee, when they need documents, they come to me. We use the power that we have vested in us by the Constitution to try to force the Department of Justice and the FBI to comply with these document requests.”
“I know, but you can see the criticism, Congressman,” Ingraham responded. “When they come after you and say Nunes is getting these documents–I think a lot of people want you to have these documents–then you don’t read them, it opens you up to criticism. So I don’t understand why it compromises the investigation for you to say, ‘I read the documents that are necessary to do this investigation and I consult with my staff on the primary documents.’ So I don’t understand your reluctance to say whether you read them or don’t read them. I don’t get that.”
Nunes responded by calling the criticism “process games,” and stating that the “page and a half” that CNN was referring to didn’t have the information he was looking for.
“We’re not going to get into the specifics about how we conduct our investigation,” Nunes said, emphasizing that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) read it.
I like Laura Ingraham but this seems like grandstanding. There are mountains of documents in government and Congressmen should not need to read every piece of it. Nunes was trying to make it clear to her that reading every document is not his role on the Committee. There are other people on the Committee, including Trey Gowdy, who are tasked with reading documents. They have reviewed and are seeking to review thousands of documents, the head of the Committee, who has plenty of other responsibilities, including fighting for the production of the documents against a hostile DOJ/FBI, could and should not be expected to read everything produced.
However, they should read bills before they sign them. They need to rely on competent aides to filter out the junk and give the boss a summarized report.
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Natalie Dagenhardt is an American conservative writer who writes for Right Journalism! Natalie has described herself as a polemicist who likes to “stir up the pot,” and does not “pretend to be impartial or balanced, as broadcasters do,” drawing criticism from the left, and sometimes from the right. As a passionate journalist, she works relentlessly to uncover the corruption happening in Washington. She is a “constitutional conservative”.