Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesGOP lawmaker adheres to term limit pledge, won't run for reelection The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Winter is here for Democrats Hillicon Valley — GOP leader criticizes Twitter over Greene ban MORE (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 GowdyTrey GowdyTrey Gowdy sets goal of avoiding ideological echo chamber with Fox News show Fox News signs Trey Gowdy, Dan Bongino for new shows Pompeo rebukes Biden's new foreign policy MORE (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 SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden to make voting rights play in Atlanta Democrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Overnight Health Care — Insurance will soon cover COVID-19 tests MORE (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 TrumpDonald TrumpSanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown Laura Ingraham 'not saying' if she'd support Trump in 2024 The Hill's 12:30 Report: Djokovic may not compete in French Open over vaccine requirement MORE and undercut the Russia investigation.
FBI and Justice Department officials advised against releasing it, saying that it leaves out important context.