Nunes: Transcripts show Russia investigation was ‘phony the whole time’

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said the Republican strategy during the House investigation into the Russia probe focused an asking if there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The answer they got: none.

“We had a strategy here that we wanted to get every single person that we interviewed, to say whether or not they knew of any evidence of collusion, coordination or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” Nunes said during an interview on “Sunday Morning Futures.” “Furthermore, what you will see is that we’ve been asked questions about hearsay. Did they hear anything? Do they know anything? Do they have any leads for us whatsoever?

“And the answer was always the same. Nothing,” he said.

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Nunes, a fierce ally of President Trump, also slammed Democrats in the House for launching an inquiry into the Russia investigation in the first place

“I think that’s the real revelation for the American people, is they were using their own Russian dirt to ask questions,” he said. “And it was all fake. It was all phony the whole time.”

The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released transcripts of interviews conducted by the panel during its Russia probe in 2017 and 2018 — amid demands by Republicans to make them public after being cleared by the intelligence community.

The committee, led by California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, publicly released 57 transcripts, as well as additional material, from the committee’s investigation.

In a statement, Schiff did not back down from his contention — fiercely disputed by Republicans — that President Trump and his campaign “invited illicit Russian help” to win the 2016 election.

“Despite the many barriers put in our way by the then-Republican Majority, and attempts by some key witnesses to lie to us and obstruct our investigation, the transcripts that we are releasing today show precisely what Special Counsel Robert Mueller also revealed: That the Trump campaign, and Donald Trump himself, invited illicit Russian help, made full use of that help, and then lied and obstructed the investigations in order to cover up this misconduct.” Schiff said in a statement.

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But the transcripts are full of testimony from officials who said they were unaware of evidence showing coordination between the Trump team and the Russians.

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen – who later had a falling out with the president and was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to several crimes – repeatedly told the House panel that he had no evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russian government.

Earlier last week, House Republicans sought the transcripts after the panel in September 2018 voted on a bipartisan basis to approve their public release. Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell then notified Schiff, D-Calif., that the redaction and declassification process was complete, and that the records were ready for release.

Schiff’s committee said they sent a letter to Grenell informing him that they are releasing transcripts with the redactions applied by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.

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