House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) opened the second portion of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony Wednesday by blasting the “Russia collusion conspiracy theory,” saying it is much like the mythical Loch Ness Monster.
Nunes said in his opening statement:
Welcome everyone to the last gasp of the Russia collusion conspiracy theory. As the American people may recall, the media first began spreading this conspiracy theory in the spring of 2016 when Fusion GPS, funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton Campaign, started developing the Steele dossier, a collection of outlandish accusations that Trump and his associates were Russian agents.
Nunes stated the “outlandish accusations” were fed to “naïve or partisan reporters and to top officials in numerous government agencies including the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the State Department.”
Nunes then directed his attention to discussing the actions of former FBI Director James Comey, many of which were “conveniently leaked” to the press.
“Despite acknowledging dossier allegations as being “salacious and unverified,” former FBI Director James Comey briefed those allegations to President Obama and President-elect Trump,” Nunes said, continuing:
Those briefings conveniently leaked to the press, resulting in the publication of the dossier and launching thousands of false press stories based on the word of a foreign ex-spy—one who admitted he was ‘desperate’ that Trump lose the election and who was eventually fired as an FBI source for leaking to the press.
He added, “After Comey himself was fired, by his own admission, he leaked derogatory information on President Trump to the press for the specific purpose, and successfully so, of engineering the appointment of a Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”
Nunes then took aim at his Democrat colleagues who have said “evidence of collusion is hidden just around the corner.”
“Brazenly ignoring all these red flags as well as the transparent absurdity of the claims they are making, the Democrats have argued for nearly three years that evidence of collusion is hidden just around the corner,” Nunes said. “Like the Loch Ness Monster, they insist it’s there even if no one can find it.”
Nunes then claimed the Mueller report outlined “collusion between Russia and the Democrats.”
“Now that Mr. Mueller is here, they are claiming that the collusion has actually been in his report all along, hidden in plain sight,” Nunes stated. “And they’re right, there is collusion in plain sight—collusion between Russia and the Democrats.”
He continued, “The Democrats colluded with Russian sources to develop the Steele dossier, and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya colluded with the dossier’s architect, Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson.”
Nunes closed his opening statement by claiming the Russia investigation was “never about finding the truth.”
“Among congressional Democrats, the Russia investigation was never about finding the truth,” Nunes said. “It’s always been a simple media operation, and by their own accounts, that operation continues in this room today.”
“It’s time for the curtain to close on the Russia hoax—the conspiracy theory is dead,” Nunes added. “At some point, I would argue, we’re going to have to get back to work. Until then, I yield back.”
President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., mocked Adam Schiff earlier this year with a photo of the mythical Loch Ness Monster after he insisted there was public evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.
Adam Schiff said tonight on CNN that there’s already evidence of collusion that is public. The leader of the tinfoil hat brigade also provided this update to his lifelong search for the Loch Ness monster. pic.twitter.com/wi1z5BiNur
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 28, 2019
“Adam Schiff said tonight on CNN that there’s already evidence of collusion that is public,” Trump Jr. wrote on Twitter. “The leader of the tinfoil hat brigade also provided this update to his lifelong search for the Loch Ness monster.”