Dispute erupts over House intel panel's subpoenas for CIA, FBI

"We will continue to pursue this investigation wherever the facts may lead."The approval of the seven subpoenas appeared to represent a political compromise between the House of Representatives panel's majority Republicans, who have joined Trump in demanding investigations into leaks of classified information to news organizations, and minority Democrats, who are pushing for an aggressive investigation into possible collusion between Russian Federation and Trump campaign aides".

Nunes stepped aside from the Russian Federation investigation in early April after bypassing his fellow committee members the month before to brief Trump and the press on classified intelligence that he said showed Trump and his transition team had been "incidentally" surveilled after the election.

At next week's hearing, Comey is expected to be asked about conversations in which Trump is reported to have pressured him to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, whose ties to Russian Federation are under scrutiny.

"Unmasking" is revealing the identity of individuals or organizations whose conversations or other data are caught up in the massive monitoring of overseas calls and other communications by USA intelligence agencies. Just as the news broke Wednesday that James Comey indeed would be testifying in the Senate about his dealings with the president* on all these matters, it also was revealed that Nunes, acting alone on his authority as chairman, had issued subpoenas related to the "unmasking" of Americans caught up in surveillance during the Obama administration. Those subpoenas were issued in the same batch as the first subpoenas from the Russian Federation probe, which had bipartisan support.

The House Intelligence Committee has reportedly issued seven subpoenas in connection with its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and of the Obama administration's potentially illegal use of the government's foreign-intelligence-collection power for the goal of monitoring Americans - in particular, Americans connected to the Trump campaign and transition.

That Nunes has launched a new investigation into a process called "unmasking" at this time is somewhat surprising.

Behind the scenes at the Capitol, a struggle played out between lawmakers on the House Russia investigation in the leadup to the issuing of the first subpoenas, CNN reported last week. As it turns out, Nunes is likely guilty of the same innocuous intelligence practice he's tried to paint as a smoking gun for that allegation.




A Democratic committee aide told Business Insider on Friday that Nunes and other Republicans on the committee were trying to make questions about unmasking "the focal issue" of the committee's probe into Russia's election interference because "they're trying to divert attention away from the investigation".

Trump on Thursday backed Nunes' efforts to investigate actions by US security and other officials who had served under previous President Barack Obama.

Cohen this week blasted a Senate Intelligence panel's request for information as "poorly phrased" and overbroad.

Schiff was referring to Jeff Sessions' written recommendation to Trump that he should fire former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

Mr. Nunes signed all seven subpoenas despite his recusal, according to people familiar with the matter. He was reluctant to bow to Democrats' initial demands for Nunes to step aside, and when Nunes said he would do so, Ryan issued a statement saying Nunes continued to have his trust.

The dual investigations of President Trump's White House-both Congress and the DoJ are investigating him-are continuing to gear up. "But the minority continues to object, claiming they aren't ready".

Meanwhile, the Senate probe has continued chugging on - Flynn agreed to provide documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee, under the force of multiple subpoenas, and the panel is scheduled to interview Comey about his firing at a Thursday hearing.

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