House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) said Wednesday that he’d “thought a lot about” inviting the chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, before his committee to discuss the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Nunes charged in a classified memo — made public last week with President Donald Trump’s approval — that the government improperly politicized its request for a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. In reality, Nunes’ memo doesn’t really support his argument. The committee has sent Democrats’ counter-memo to Trump to obtain his approval for release.
In an interview with Nunes Wednesday flagged by the Hill, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt asked if he’d gotten “a chance to chat with [Roberts] or any of the FISA judges about what went on at the FISA Court with regard to the Page application?”
The chief justice of the Supreme Court appoints FISA court judges.
“This is something that we grappled with, that we’ve been grappling with all through this investigation,” Nunes responded. “We decided that we wanted to complete the FISA abuse portion before we approached the courts. Our next step with the courts is to make them aware, if they’re not aware already that this happened by watching the news. So we will be sending a letter to the court.”
“There is a, there’s a debate now into whether just send it to the Supreme Court or to send it to the FISA Court,” he continued, because “if, somehow, this case ends up at the Supreme Court, somehow, some way, by sending a letter to Roberts, do you conflict the Court?
Hewitt said he didn’t think that was the case, and asked Nunes if he would invite Roberts to speak to the committee in a closed session.
“This is something that we have, like I said, we have thought a lot about this,” Nunes responded. “And the answer is we don’t know the correct way to proceed because of the separation of powers issue.”
“I’m not aware of— I’m aware of members of Congress going to the Supreme Court and having coffee with the judges, just to shoot the bull,” he continued. “I’m aware of, you know, dinners where congressmen have been with Supreme Court justices. But I’m not aware of any time where a judge has, for lack of a better term, testified before the Congress.”
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