(USA Features) House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes said Friday he still believes that special counsel John Durham, a former federal prosecutor, will produce charges against people involved in “Russiagate” that will land them in jail.
In an interview on the Sara Carter Show podcast, Nunes, a California Republican, suggested his view might be “Pollyanna,” but that he continues to believe that Durham’s investigation into the origins of a counterintelligence operation aimed at spying on the 2016 campaign of then-GOP nominee Donald Trump will bring about convictions.
I’m still positive, and I guess I have to be, that people are going to go to jail, and they are going to be prosecuted for the Russia grand fiasco and the Russia hoax,” he said.
“Maybe I’m a little Pollyanna, but I just have to have faith ultimately that there was a special counsel created, Durham does have the power, we are fully expecting him—it may not be as broad as we want it to be,” Nunes said.
“But look, there are some major perpetrators. I think, as you and everybody else know, we’ve made over 14 criminal referrals—that doesn’t mean 14 individuals, that means 14 different criminal referrals involving multiple individuals,” he told Carter.
While he was head of House Intelligence Committee, Nunes and the panel dug into the origins of the Russiagate investigation, claiming to have uncovered legally actionable behavior, some of it on the part of high-ranking officials in the FBI and Justice Department.
No charges have ever been filed against anyone except a low-level FBI lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, who admitted to hiding relevant information on a FISA surveillance court application to continue spying on then-Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Clinesmith got probation after pleading guilty but did no jail time.
Pressed on whether the special counsel will really produce any charges, Nunes said Durham has power and “shouldn’t be corrupted.”
If he does and Republicans win back control over the House in the 2022 midterms, it would come down to Attorney General Merrick Garland, he said, “and that would be a big issue, especially if Republicans get control back of the Congress because we have subpoena power.”
The FBI made a series of significant errors in its spying on the Trump campaign, the Department of Justice inspector general noted during the Trump administration. But the IG does not have any authority to charge anyone and Barr neglected to pursue those findings legally.
But Barr, last year before he resigned, did say that Durham was making “good progress.” Also, then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe strongly suggested that additional charges were forthcoming.
Ratcliffe also said he shared thousands of documents with Durham’s team.
Kash Patel, a former aide to Nunes, said during his EpochTV show this week that Durham is authorized to examine “the entire origins of the Russia collusion narrative, and all the individuals involved.”
He said Durham has the power to empanel grand juries and subpoena witnesses.
“He’s still in place because the special counsel’s role has not ended. It can only end when he finishes his submission to the attorney general as to recommend[ing] charges and/or submit a written report for the public to read once the attorney general has signed off on that report as well,” said Patel.
“Neither of those things have happened and obviously John Durham has not been removed as special counsel.”