Rep. Nunes on secret source of anti-Trump Steele file: “widened our investigation” to the Brookings Institute

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House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., Told “Sunday Morning Futures” in an exclusive interview that “we have now expanded our investigation, a full investigation, to the Brookings Institute. “

Nunes made the comment a day after the main source of Christopher Steel’s unverified file was revealed as a resident of the United States who previously co-wrote a research paper showing Russian President Vladimir Putin plagiarized his thesis. .

Host Maria Bartiromo said Sunday that “Nunes was among the first lawmakers to question the Russian collusion hoax as chairman of the House Intel committee. She noted that three years ago he said “the FBI was engaged in a coup to overthrow a sitting president.”

She referred to a Fox Business interview last week where Nunes first said he believed there were “direct links between the leadership of the Brookings Institute and the creation, possibly, of the Steele dossier and the broadcast. of the Steele folder.

On Sunday, Nunes provided an update after a lawyer for Igor Danchenko, 42, confirmed to the New York Times that his client – a former senior research analyst at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, and not a source “based in Russia” – provided the information to Steele, the former British spy whose file was used by the FBI to obtain wiretaps of Carter Page, the former campaign adviser to Trump.

The FBI knew who Danchenko was and questioned him in 2017 about the information he provided for the Steele case which purported to show the Trump campaign’s links to the Russian government. Danchenko cooperated on condition that the FBI keep his identity a secret so that he could protect himself, the newspaper reported.

But that all changed when Attorney General William Barr ordered the FBI to declassify the report on his three-day interview with Danchenko and turn it over to Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., whose Judiciary Committee investigated the origins of Russia. probe. Graham wanted the interview to air as it further undermines the credibility of the Steele case, he said.

Graham released the declassified documents on July 17 that had redacted Danchenko’s name and credentials, but an online blog post titled “Found the main sub-source” gathered clues and identified Danchekno. RT, a Kremlin-owned news site, then published an article that also included Danchenko’s name.

Danchenko’s identity further raises questions about the FBI’s renewal of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) arrest warrant against Page. In the last two renewal requests to the FISA tribunal, the FBI called the main sub-source of the document “truthful and cooperative” and “based in Russia,” according to the report by the inspector general of the ministry of Justice.

But Danchenko lives in the United States, although he traveled to Moscow to gather information on Steele’s behalf, the Times reported.

Nunes referred to an interview he did with Bartiromo a few months ago in which he “said we’re really looking at three Russians.”

“It ends up… the third was actually not a Russian at all. It actually looks like he’s living here in America and the FBI made Congress believe, and the media made Congress believe and they made the American public believe, that Steele sort of had this really great source. secret that no one could know. He continued.

“Well, he ended up working for the Brookings Institute. Looks like there was a lot of connection to the Brookings Institute. ”

He went on to say that the Brookings Institute “is the most important left-wing think tank here in our nation’s capital.”

Nunes noted that “we had these links earlier. ”

“People might remember the president of Brookings in 2016, we know he handed the file over to a few people, we got it by testimony,” he said. “You might also remember that the State Department was involved and there were additional files that weren’t the Steele files, except they mirrored the Steele files.

“And we believe there is a connection between the president of Brookings and these files that were turned over to the State Department that reflected the Steele files,” he continued.

THE SENATE REPUBLICS PUBLISH FILES INCLUDING THE STEELE “UNDERCUT” FILE

Nunes then went on to explain what he thinks “all of this” means.

“It was the Clinton campaign files. It was dirt. It was a bogus story that they not only sold to the American people, but they sold it and corrupted our FBI, where it looks like those dirty cops were more than willing to take this information and present it to court. FISA, ”Nunes said.

He added, “We have now expanded our survey, a comprehensive survey, at the Brookings Institute and it really focuses on two questions.”

“One is the IRS. It is a tax exempt organization. They are supposed to stay out of politics. They obviously did not do that. They’ve hampered our investigation with propaganda for the past four years, ”Nunes said. “It is well known that they attacked our investigation for four years through this kind of bogus legal group of fact-checkers that they set up. So we have to look in there to see if they are involved in politics.

Dean Patterson, an IRS spokesperson, told Fox News, “Federal law prohibits the IRS from discussing specific taxpayers.”

Nunes said the second problem was that the Brookings Institute would have accepted “foreign money from foreign countries and foreign governments.”

“We need to know which foreign governments were involved in this matter, because were they acting on behalf of a foreign power?” Nunes said.

“Everyone has been wondering all this time, if the Trump campaign, the Republicans, were involved with the Russians, well who was the Brookings Institute, who were their foreign donors? And are they doing all of this not only to help the Democratic Party, but any foreign government as well? ”

A spokesperson for the Brookings Institute did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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Bartiromo said: “What all of this tells me, including the revealed sub-source, is that there was indeed collusion in this country, but it was collusion with Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. She then asked Nunes if that was “a fair statement? ”

“Yeah, and that’s also just going to show you that it was an unhealthy fantasy that was invented by the Clinton campaign and their agents,” Nunes said in response.

Fox News’s Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.

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