The ongoing probe into the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation of former President Donald Trump and related matters will lead to people going to jail, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) asserted this week.
“I’m still positive, and I guess I have to be, that people are going to go to jail, and they are going to be prosecuted for the Russia grand fiasco and the Russia hoax,” Nunes said on the Sara Carter Show podcast.
“Maybe I’m a little Pollyanna, but I just have to have faith ultimately that there was a special counsel created, Durham does have the power, we are fully expecting him—it may not be as broad as we want it to be,” Nunes added later. “But look, there are some major perpetrators. I think, as you and everybody else know, we’ve made over 14 criminal referrals—that doesn’t mean 14 individuals, that means 14 different criminal referrals involving multiple individuals.”
John Durham, a former U.S. attorney, was made special counsel last year to pursue the probe, though Democrats said in December that the appointment appeared to violate Department of Justice regulations.
Durham’s office has given no updates on the investigation, which began in 2019.
The only criminal charges to be brought from the probe left a former FBI lawyer—who acknowledged fabricating evidence against Carter Page, a former Trump campaign associate—on probation, with no jail time.
Questioned on whether Durham’s probe would actually produce results, Nunes said that Durham has power and “shouldn’t be corrupted.”
If he is, then it would come down to Attorney General Merrick Garland, he said, “and that would be a big issue, especially if Republicans get control back of the Congress because we have subpoena power.”
Nunes is the former top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. He is responsible for unearthing crucial information about how U.S. intelligence agencies made numerous major errors in probing Trump and his campaign, particularly with regard to how they relied on an unsubstantiated dossier compiled by an ex-British spy, Christopher Steele, who was openly pro-Hillary Clinton and anti-Trump.
Republicans have long expressed disappointment with the Durham probe. After Durham’s review of the matters developed into a criminal probe, many said they believed it would lead to serious charges against major figures. Then-Attorney General William Barr, who appointed Durham as special counsel, later said neither former President Barack Obama, nor his vice president, Joe Biden, would be charged.
The FBI made a series of significant errors in its spying on the Trump campaign, the Department of Justice inspector general noted.
Barr said last year before resigning that Durham was making “good progress.” John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence at the time, said last year that he believed additional indictments were forthcoming, based on the intelligence he reviewed. Ratcliffe also said he shared thousands of documents with Durham’s team.
Kash Patel, a former aide to Nunes, said on his EpochTV show this week that Durham is allowed to probe “the entire origins of the Russia collusion narrative, and all the individuals involved.”
The power Durham holds includes subpoena powers and convening grand juries.
“He’s still in place because the special counsel’s role has not ended. It can only end when he finishes his submission to the attorney general as to recommend[ing] charges and/or submit a written report for the public to read once the attorney general has signed off on that report as well,” he said. “Neither of those things have happened and obviously John Durham has not been removed as special counsel.”
Patel, a former federal prosecutor, said if he were Durham he would run the probe “as if it were a giant conspiracy” because evidence indicates high-level Department of Justice officials were involved.