Nunes claims 'clear link' between Dems and Russia during 2016 election

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesBlack Caucus sees power grow with new Democratic majority Nunes's 2018 Dem challenger launches voting rights group Democrats: Concentrate on defeating, not impeaching MORE (R-Calif.) accused Democrats of hypocrisy on Monday evening, saying that there was a "clear link" between them and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

Appearing on Fox News's "Hannity," Nunes slammed Democrats for criticizing a memo compiled by his office alleging the Justice Department abused a government surveillance program against a Trump campaign adviser.

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“We have a clear link to Russia — you have a campaign who hired a law firm, who hired Fusion GPS, who hired a foreign agent, who then got information from the Russians on the other campaign,” the Republican chairman said.

“It seems like the counterintelligence investigation should have been opened up against the Hillary campaign when they got ahold of the dossier. But that didn't happen, either,” Nunes said.

Nunes also claimed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court that granted the warrant against Trump aide Carter Page wasn’t informed of the political origins of the funding behind the dossier, though it's been reported that officials had disclosed the political nature of the dossier.

The Republican memo claims that the Justice Department used information from the so-called Steele dossier to obtain a surveillance warrant against Page.

The memo, however, also makes clear that the federal Russia probe was triggered by information about former Trump campaign staffer George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosHow the Clinton machine flooded the FBI with Trump-Russia dirt … until agents bit Barr: It would be a crime for president to pardon someone in exchange for their silence Press: What dirt does Putin have on Trump? MORE, not the dossier.

The intelligence community believes that the Kremlin attempted to interfere in the U.S. election with the intention of helping to elect President TrumpDonald John TrumpCoast Guard chief: 'Unacceptable' that service members must rely on food pantries, donations amid shutdown Dem lawmaker apologizes after saying it's never been legal in US to force people to work for free Grassley to hold drug pricing hearing MORE

Nunes's statements came just hours after the House Intelligence Committee unanimously voted to release the Democrats' countermemo to his own. Democrats on the panel, led by ranking member Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDebate builds over making Mueller report public Media reliability questioned over report Trump directed lies to Congress Giuliani defends Trump going after Cohen's father-in-law MORE (D-Calif.), say their memo refutes claims of FISA abuse point by point.

Trump now has five days to decide whether to release the Democratic memo publicly, as he did last week with the GOP's.