California Republican Devin Nunes told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday evening that the Robert Mueller report shows “Clinton dirt” compiled by former British spy tainted the Russia investigation.
The ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee said the report on page 11 confirms that the salacious Steele dossier was used as part of the memo that established a scope of the investigation into the supposed collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. “When you look at what happened today, remember we talked a lot about the scope memo. What were the directions given to the special counsel?” Nunes said on “Hannity”.
“Well, we now know hidden on page 11, very thinly, still veiled, but we now know they used the Steele dossier, the Clinton dirt, the Clinton-paid-for dirt as part of the memo for the special counsel that directed the special counsel what to do.”
Nunes alluded to the August 2017 “scope memo” issued by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that was released to the public last year, albeit heavily redacted, that appears to feature allegations made only in the unverified dossier. The Republican says Mueller’s report now shows that former Trump campaign staffers Carter Page and Paul Manafort were targeted in the probe in part due to the dossier compiled by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, whose efforts were funded in part through an opposition research group, Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
“On Carter Page and Paul Manafort, that information came from political opponents, the Clinton campaign fed right into the FBI, directed to the special counsel to go investigate what was in the infamous Steele dossier,” Nunes said. “That is the only thing of relevance that was in today’s 450-page report.”
He added: “Rosenstein then directed them to use that dirt, that dossier, which I think makes up the bulk of what is in the scope memo, that we have still yet to be able to see.”
The page 11 of the report details how Mueller was appointed to the special counsel and how Rosenstein directed the scope of his investigation, including targeting Trump’s team members such as Page, Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Michael Flynn.
In the same interview on Thursday, Nunes went on to praise Attorney General William Barr for his handling of the release of the report.
But he also stressed the importance of ensuring that the FBI won’t abuse its powers in the future, urging to take “real action.”
The Republican earlier this month announced that he’s preparing to send eight criminal referrals to the Department of Justice this week concerning alleged misconduct from “Watergate wannabes” during the Trump-Russia investigation, including the leaks of “highly classified material” and conspiracies to lie to Congress and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court.