Senate

Senate Intel says House GOP leaked senator’s texts to Fox News: report

Greg Nash

The Senate Intelligence Committee has found that a Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee leaked to Fox News text messages sent by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), according to a new report.

Two officials told The New York Times that members of the Senate committee were briefed on the conclusions made by the committee leaders, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Warner.

The Times reports the two men demanded a meeting with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to address the leak and inform him of their findings. During the meeting, they also raised concerns about the House committee and its leader, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), according to the newspaper.

{mosads}Last month, Fox News published a series of texts between Warner and lobbyist Adam Waldman, whose firm reportedly has ties to former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Warner was seeking to establish contact with Christopher Steele, the author of the controversial dossier linking President Trump to Russia, as part of the Senate panel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The Virginia Democrat exchanged text messages with Waldman, who did work as a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch, about making contact with Steele, according to the Fox News report.

At the time, Fox News reported the texts were obtained from “a Republican source.”

According to the Times, Waldman originally submitted the texts to the Senate committee as part of its investigation. A staffer for Nunes requested in January that copies of the messages also be shared with the House committee.

The documents published by Fox News included a label reading “CONFIDENTIAL: Produced to USSSCI on a Confidential Basis,” which refers to the Senate Intelligence Committee, otherwise known as the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

However, a source told the Times that the document contains other markings showing it came from the House committee. According to the newspaper, a copy of the messages provided to the Senate committee contained page numbers, while the copy given to the House committee did not contain page numbers.

Burr later denied the Times report, telling a CNN reporter that his panel had not concluded that House Republicans were behind the leak. He also denied raising concerns about Nunes during his meeting with Ryan.

A lawyer for Waldman also came to the conclusion that the House committee leaked the messages and complained to Nunes about the leak, according to the Times.

A spokesman for Nunes did not deny that the committee had leaked the messages in a statement to the Times.

“The New York Times, a prominent purveyor of leaks, is highlighting anonymous sources leaking information that accuses Republicans of leaking information,” spokesman Jack Langer told the Times. “I’m not sure if this coverage could possibly get more absurd.”

Trump at the time cited the Fox News report in a Twitter attack on Warner, saying it was “all tied into Crooked Hillary.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), another member of the Senate committee, dismissed the Fox report at the time, saying Warner had disclosed his contacts to the committee and that they had “zero impact” on its ongoing investigation.

Updated: 12:51 p.m.

Tags Devin Nunes Devin Nunes Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Marco Rubio Mark Warner Mark Warner Paul Ryan Richard Burr Richard Burr

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