Nunes announces deal for FBI files, interviews

Nunes announces deal for FBI files, interviews
© Greg Nash

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesJuan Williams: Trump, his allies and the betrayal of America Trump expected to nominate Texas GOP lawmaker to replace Dan Coats: report House Republicans claim victory after Mueller hearings MORE (R-Calif.) said Thursday that he has reached a deal with Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWhy the presumption of innocence doesn't apply to Trump McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing Rosenstein: Trump should focus on preventing people from 'becoming violent white supremacists' MORE for documents and interviews relating to FBI agents who were removed from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report MORE's team over anti-Trump text messages.

In a letter detailing an earlier conversation between the two men released by Nunes on Thursday night, the California Republican announced that the House Intelligence Committee will gain access to documents and text messages relating to agent Peter Strzok and his FBI colleague Lisa Page, as well as access to a number of FBI witnesses themselves, later in January.

The deal also grants the committee access to around 9,500 text messages sent between Strzok and Page, some of which were leaked to the press last year and revealed a perceived anti-Trump bias among the agents.

According to Nunes's letter, Republicans on the committee are interested in gaining the information as part of their investigation into the "Steele dossier," a memo of unverified claims about Trump's ties to Russia that Republicans believe was the impetus for the FBI's probe into the Trump campaign.

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"The materials we are requesting are vital to the Committee's investigation of potential abuses into intelligence and law enforcement agencies' handling of the Christopher Steele dossier," Nunes wrote.

"The Committee is extremely concerned by indications that top U.S. Government officials who were investigating a presidential campaign relied on unverified information that was funded by the opposing political campaign and was based on Russian sources," he added.

The note adds that one document will be made available to the committee for private viewing due to national security concerns.

Nunes and the FBI have been at a stalemate for months over the documents, and last week the California lawmaker blasted Justice Department leadership for failing to turn over the documents.

"Unfortunately, DOJ/FBI's intransigence with respect to the August 24 subpoenas is part of a broader pattern of behavior that can no longer be tolerated," Nunes wrote last week. "At this point it seems the DOJ and FBI need to be investigating themselves."

Nunes was forced to recuse himself from the House Intelligence Committee's Russia probe last year after the House Ethics Committee began looking into his handling of classified information related to the investigation, which was taken over by Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayTexas faces turbulent political moment Democratic Party official: Texas is 'biggest battleground state in the country' Another Texas congressman planning to retire MORE (R-Texas).