Nunes said he saw FISA abuses right before admitting he never even saw any FISA applications.
House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) admitted on Friday that he hadn’t even read the material he wrote about in the overhyped intelligence memo that was released earlier in the day.
The memo, which was written by Nunes and released by the White House, alleges that the FBI had an anti-Trump bias when it went to a FISA (“Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act”) court in 2016 and asked a judge to grant a renewal on the surveillance warrant already in place on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
Trump and his Republican allies spent weeks hyping the memo, saying it would be bigger than Watergate but when it was released on Friday, it turned out to be a complete dud. Much of the information was already public, and other parts actually undermined the GOP’s own anti-FBI narrative.
But Nunes a steadfast Trump apologist seemed determined to prove that his stunt was not the failure that it appeared to be.
In an appearance on a Fox News special report just hours after releasing the memo, Nunes told host Brett Baier that he was “sad we had to get to this point,” but that he felt compelled to write the memo because he had “an obligation to [tell] the American people when we see FISA abuse.”
“It’s not a place we wanted to go,” Nunes said. “But it’s where we have to go.”
Baier then asked Nunes if he had read the FISA applications that formed the basis of the memo.
“No, I did not,” Nunes admitted.
Despite having just admitted that he never read the intelligence that formed the basis of his memo, Nunes shrugged off reports that he had not seen the underlying documents as bogus” news.
Nunes’ admission bolsters the case made by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who earlier this week blasted Nunes for “cherry-picking” the content of the memo and not reading the materials that were summarized in the document.
Schiff isn’t the only one who has called into question the veracity of the memo. Earlier this week, the DOJ and FBI both released statements objecting to the release of the memo, saying it contains inaccurate information and presents a false narrative to the public.
Instead of raising questions about the FBI or DOJ, Nunes is now raising questions about himself. Among the most pressing questions: If he never saw any FISA applications, how did he see the supposed FISA abuses that he wrote about in the memo?