House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Monday referred ten current and former U.S. officials to the House Judiciary and Oversight & Government Reform Committees’ joint task force, as it investigates potential DOJ and FBI wrongdoing related to the Trump-Russia probe.
Nunes, in a letter to the chairmen of both committees obtained by Breitbart News, listed ten current and former U.S. officials who may have received or provided information relevant to their investigation.
The list includes a number of U.S. officials who were working at the U.S. Embassy in London, where the alleged conversation between then-Australia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Alexander Downer and then-Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos in May 2016 was reported.
Interviews with those officials could reveal whether the FBI lied when it said it began investigating the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016, after it received information from Downer after stolen Democratic National Committee emails were published on July 22, 2016.
Leaks to the New York Times and the Washington Post earlier this year revealed that an FBI and CIA informant, Stefan Halper, reached out to then-Trump campaign adviser Carter Page as early as June 2016 — revealing that the FBI may have actually started its investigation of the Trump campaign much earlier than stated.
The circumstances around the Papadopoulos conversation are also not clear.
Papadopoulos was reportedly told by a Maltese professor named Joseph Mifsud that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails. Downer requested a meeting with Papadopoulos weeks afterward. Papadopoulos reportedly told Downer in May 2016 that he was told Russia had dirt on Clinton, but did not specify “emails.”
The conversation was reportedly passed on from Downer to Amb. Joe Hockey, who is Australia’s ambassador to the United States. Hockey reportedly passed on the conversation to the U.S. after the emails were released on July 22, 2016.
Normally, intelligence passed on from a member of the “Five Eyes” alliance — Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S. — to another member comes through an official channel for intelligence sharing.
However, Nunes, upon reviewing the document that formally launched the FBI’s investigation, said there was no intelligence shared through that official channel, meaning that the intelligence was shared through unofficial means.
On May 31, the Wall Street Journal‘s Kimberley Strassel reported that Hockey “neither transmitted any information to the FBI nor was approached by the U.S. about the tip.”
“Rather,” she reported, “it was Mr. Downer who at some point decided to convey his information—to the U.S. Embassy in London.”
U.S. officials who were serving at the U.S. Embassy in London listed in Nunes letter include: Elizabeth Dibble, Lewis Lukens, and Thomas Williams.
Dibble served as the deputy chief of mission at the embassy from 2013 through July 2016. Previously, she served as the principal deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, from 2011 to 2013.
Lukens is the current deputy chief of mission at the embassy, who has served there since August 2016. Williams serves as the minister counselor for political affairs at the embassy, where he has served since at least December 2015.
Nunes’s letter also lists State Department officials in Washington, who have admitted to receiving information from ex-British spy Christopher Steele, who was hired by Fusion GPS to dig up ties between then-candidate Donald Trump and Russia for the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Those officials are Jonathan Winer and Victoria Nuland. Winer admitted in an op-ed piece earlier this year that Steele, a longtime contact, gave him a summary of what he had found, and that he had passed it on to Nuland, who advised Winer to tell Steele to give it to the FBI.
Nuland admitted during a hearing that she learned of the information as early as mid-July 2016. The information from Steele, in the form of a dossier, included several salacious claims that have been unverified to date.
Nuland has also admitted that she was responsible for ringing an “alarm bell” early on during the campaign of potential ties between Trump and Russia. Her husband, Bob Kagan, is a neo-conservative scholar who left the Republican Party over Trump’s nomination.
At the time she received the dossier summary, Nuland was the top State Department official for Russian affairs, serving as the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs
Nunes’s letter also lists Colin Kahl, former national security adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden, another former Biden aide, and former journalist Shailagh Murray – who is married to a Fusion GPS executive Neil King, Jr. – as well as former top Clinton State Department aide and campaign official Jake Sullivan.
The story has been updated.