Pelosi: 'Thug' Putin not welcome in Congress
Nunes: I did not read material summarized in the memo
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on Friday admitted that did not personally review the applications for surveillance warrants that provide the basis of the classified memo released earlier in the day.
Nunes said he relied on the review of committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).
"No, I didn't," Nunes told Fox News's Bret Baier, when asked if he saw the applications.
The memo, released earlier in the day by the House Intelligence Committee, alleges that politically motivated material was used to petition the government for a warrant to surveil an American citizen.
Nunes, the chairman of the committee, brushed off news reports that accused him of not seeing the underlying documents as "bogus."
He explained that the committee set up an agreement with the Justice Department that would allow just one person to review the documents.
Nunes said he thought Gowdy would be the best choice because of his background as a federal prosecutor, and that Gowdy then shared his notes and observations with the rest of the members.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, torched Nunes earlier in the week for not reading all the materials involved in creating the document. He acknowledged the agreement Nunes referenced, but blasted the chairman for sending someone else to read the documents.
"The chairman never bothered to go read these underlying materials," Schiff told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday. "After months and months of making this argument that the FBI and DOJ are involved in some sort of conspiracy, he didn't even bother to read the materials himself."
Democrats have accused the GOP of cherry-picking facts in a partisan effort to protect President Trump and undercut the Russia investigation.
FBI and Justice Department officials advised against releasing it, saying that it leaves out important context.