The FBI director, James Comey, and NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers has been asked by the House Intelligence Committee Chair, Rep Devin Nunes, to testify a second time on anti-Russian surveillance efforts, which would be done behind closed doors. Nunes announced in a press conference that the Chiefs will discuss topics which “they couldn’t answer in a public setting.” He had made headlines this week after telling reporters the Obama administration was caught spying on several Trump Transition team members from the election day to the time he was sworn in.
According to Nunes, former National Intelligence Committee Director James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former deputy Attorney General Sally Yates have all agreed to provide testimony on whether the Obama Administration was investigating members of Donald Trump’s campaign team for their ties to Russia.
Of course, now that he has the doors closed, Nunes has invited other top figures to re-testify, just in case there was something they didn’t want to say on camera. FBI Director James Comey and NSA director Mike Rogers will be back Friday, it seems, for a second round of testimony.
Fox News‘s James Rosen says that real reason for the lockdown is likely because Nunes believes a “smoking gun” is forthcoming, and the committee wants to handle the situation with care. “The intelligence is said to leave no doubt the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump,” sources reportedly told Rosen.
NSA officials are expected to produce documents backing up that claim during Friday’s hearing.
This means that Nunes’s Wednesday revelations—that Trump administration officials were caught up in an intelligence dragnet designed to find out how the Russians might be influencing the Presidential election—may be just the beginning.
It also may mean that Nunes is just trying to make House Democrats sweat, particularly Rep. Adam Schiff, who has been out front and center, ragging on Nunes all week for telling the President about Obama’s super-secret surveillance plans before Nunes told the committee’s Democrats.
Schiff has reportedly been briefed on the “basic contents” of Nunes’s intelligence reports – including whether the Obama Administration’s peek into any Trump-Russia connection could be backed up by evidence.
He didn’t seem nearly as angry at the thought that the Obama Administration had launched a dragnet that “incidentally” roped in American citizens, however, as he was that he didn’t get the chance to be the first out of the gate with the revelations. And that certainly didn’t stop Schiff from throwing a tantrum, early Friday, claiming that the public had been “locked out” of Nunes’ hearings.