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

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesRussia probe accelerates political prospects for House Intel Dems Nunes: Russia probe documents should be released before election Gowdy: House Intel panel should release all transcripts from Russia probe 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 PapadopoulosFlynn sentencing move spurs questions about duration of Mueller probe Time for sunshine on Trump-Russia investigation Trump to declassify controversial text messages, documents related to Russia probe 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 TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her 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 SchiffKey House Dem's objections stall intel bill as deadline looms The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh and his accuser will testify publicly Russia probe accelerates political prospects for House Intel Dems 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.