Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) says he has now seen the same intelligence that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) was given last week on the grounds of the White House ― which Nunes then presented to the White House — and Schiff called for the information to be turned over to the congressional intelligence committees.
Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, declined to reveal any details of the information. But it wasn’t so overwhelming or sensitive that it should change the rules of procedure, he indicated. Schiff called for it to be given to the House and Senate intelligence committees to evaluate. He said he doesn’t understand why the information was provided only to Nunes, the chairman of the House committee.
The information “should have been shared with the full committees in the first place as a part of our ordinary oversight responsibilities,” Schiff said in a statement posted Friday on Twitter.
“Nothing I could see today warranted a departure from the normal review procedures, and these materials should now be provided to the full membership of both committees. The White House has yet to explain why senior White House staff apparently shared these materials with but one member of either committee — only for their contents to be briefed back to the White House.”
The secretive information was at the heart of a dramatic, clandestine operation that involved Nunes ducking out of an Uber ride last week at midnight to slip onto the grounds of the White House, where he was shown documents on a secure server, according to the Republican congressman. He in turn shared the information with the White House. The New York Times reported this week that Nunes initially gained access to the information with the help of White House staffers.
Nunes claimed the documents showed that Donald Trump and others may have been incidentally named in surveillance by U.S. intelligence agencies that were engaged in other investigations. The information appeared to confirm a link to intelligence monitoring but apparently fell short of confirming Trump’s claim that his phones at Trump Tower in Manhattan were “wiretapped” by President Barack Obama toward the end of the 2016 campaign.
After Nunes presented the information back to the White House, Trump said that he felt “somewhat vindicated” over his wiretap tweets and that he was “very grateful” for the information.
FBI Director James Comey testified before the House Intelligence Committee earlier this month that he had absolutely no information that Trump had been wiretapped. “I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI,” Comey said. Nunes also said then: “We know there was not a physical wiretap of Trump Tower.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee is holding hearings on Russian interference in the U.S. election and possible ties to the Trump campaign. The investigation by the House committee is stalled amid the controversy over Nunes’ actions.