Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) said Wednesday that House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) violated his civil liberties by snooping in his phone records and publishing them in his impeachment report.
Schiff’s Democratic majority released a 300-page report on Tuesday, on the eve of the first impeachment hearings in the House Judiciary Committee, summarizing the testimony in its own inquiry. (Republicans released a dissenting report on Monday.) None of the information in Schiff’s report was new — except for the inclusion of phone records, which the report suggested showed coordination between Nunes and President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, ostensibly to smear Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch or “dig up dirt” on former Vice President Joe Biden.
In a press conference Tuesday, Schiff declined to say when, or how, he had obtained the phone records. But Nunes told conservative talk radio host Mark Levin on Wednesday evening that Schiff issued a subpoena Sep. 30 to AT&T for several phone numbers, none of which Nunes or the committee’s Republicans had recognized at the time.
Asked if he had been made aware of the subpoena, Nunes said:
Yes and no — and I’m not being wishy-washy here. We got the — he [Schiff] has to inform us of a subpoena. He informed us, showed us the subpoena on September 30th. They were random numbers — there were five random numbers. We didn’t know what the hell these numbers were about. So we didn’t know what they were working on — they don’t have to tell us what they are working on. And then, middle of November, just a few weeks ago, we get three thousand pages of phone records. What the hell is this, right? No names associated with the numbers. And so still, today, we don’t know who al live of those numbers belong to. The only reason I know about the one number is because I have Rudy Giuliani’s personal cell phone number. And so then they were able to get all the calls that I had with Rudy Giuliani, which — I mean, the joke is, I had, like, three calls with Rudy Giuliani — and then they used it to smear me in their report, again , that somehow Rudy Giuliani and I were conspiring to get an ambassador fired — an ambassador who I hadn’t even heard of until they brought her in a few weeks ago. It’s just nutty stuff.
Levin noted that the Democrats had also spied on Nunes’s staff and investigative reporter John Solomon.
I’m going to be looking for all my legal options on this, too. I mean, my civil liberties were violated here. … Adam Schiff, just because he’s chairman, doesn’t have the right to go subpoena — put a big fishing net out there — go grab a bunch of phone numbers, and have AT&T give you all the people they’ve talked to, and then him smear me and say, “Oh, he had all these conversations with Rudy Giuliani.”
Nunes dismissed the idea that he was involved in any effort to smear Yovanovitch or Biden. “It’s made to insinuate that we were involved in this somehow, which is totally ridiculous,” he said. He said that he remembered speaking to Giuliani at the time about the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on alleged “Russia collusion” in the 2016 election, which found there had been none. They could not speak during the investigation, Nunes said.
Levin observed that while snooping on Nunes, Democrats refused to divulge any details about the so-called “whistleblower” who triggered the investigation and impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
Nunes sued CNN for defamation on Tuesday for reporting that he had been in Vienna to meet a former Ukrainian prosecutor when, in fact, he had been in Benghazi, Libya, on official business for the Intelligence Committee.
Shifts report referred to the allegedly false CNN report in describing Nunes’s contacts with Giuliani.