Rep. Nunes: Flynn ‘Targeted’ Because He wanted to ‘Empty Out’ the Intelligence Community ‘Swamp’

Devin Nunes at CPAC
CPAC 2020

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Friday vowed to hold people “accountable” for spying on the Trump campaign in 2016, saying GOP lawmakers will do everything in their power to provide the U.S. Department of Justice with the evidence needed to convict anyone responsible.

A December 2019 report from Michael Horowitz, the inspector general (OIG) at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), found that the FBI lied to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) wiretaps that enabled the federal investigation into Trump’s presidential campaign.

The comments of Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, came during an event at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday titled, “The Coup: Spygate.”

Nunes suggested that retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, was a casualty of the surveillance efforts by former President Barack Obama’s FBI, a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) component.

“I think that Gen. Flynn has been mistreated would be putting it mildly. What’s happened to him should never happen to any American much less a war hero like Gen. Flynn,” Nunes declared, prompting loud applause from the audience.

Nunes added:

The frustrating part about this is that I know because I was on the Trump transition team. One the things Gen. Flynn wanted to do — he thought it was critically important that we empty out the swamp of all the senior intelligence folks who are in Washington, DC.

S0, they had a real reason to get rid of Gen. Flynn because he was going to downsize the [White House] NSC [National Security Council], downsize the rest of the IC [intelligence community] elements in the swamp [and] push people out in the field because that’s were you get real intelligence. That’s what he wanted to do…and I know that because he told me this … [while] looking at a chart of the people he was going to eliminate.

The spying on the Trump campaign ultimately triggered the Russian collusion hoax probe at the hands of special prosecutor Robert Mueller, which resulted in Flynn’s conviction for allegedly lying to the FBI.

The retired general is facing up to six months in prison, though the DOJ now says it believes probation would also be an appropriate punishment.

Asked by the CPAC event’s moderator — Fox News contributor Dan Bongino — if anyone is going to get locked up for the Obama administration’s spygate scandal and the subsequent efforts by House Democrats to impeach and remove Trump, Nunes responded:

The number one person in America who wants people held accountable is the President of the United States, but I will tell you this, the second person in this country that wants these people handled appropriately is sitting right here, me.

So, I feel your pain. I know what you want. We’re trying to do everything we can — Republicans in Congress to do what we have the power to do. We don’t have handcuffs. We don’t have guns. We don’t have badges. What we can do is provide evidence so we can make criminal referrals to the Department of Justice … I have faith that [U.S. Attorney John] Durham is going to get to the bottom of this.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr tapped Durham to conduct a sweeping review of the origins of the Russian collusion hoax investigation. The DOJ IG report suggested former President Obama may have known that the FBI was spying on the Trump campaign.

Barr has installed a federal prosecutor from outside Washington, DC, to review the criminal case leveled against Flynn. In the wake of the DOJ IG FISA abuse revelations, Flynn’s defense lawyer has officially requested to withdraw the retired general’s guilty plea to lying to the FBI and have the case dismissed.

Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, citing Horowitz’s findings in new court filings, asserted that the revelations provide added proof that the FBI deceived her client.

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