Tulare Republican Devin Nunes, who is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, on Monday sent FBI Director James Comey a letter seeking more information on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Nunes’ two-page missive is predicated on a Friday letter Comey sent to congressional leaders, informing them that the bureau was reopening its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server after new emails were found on a computer belonging to disgraced former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner.
The Nunes letter, however, pays only a little more than passing attention to the latest email revelation before delving into other unrelated investigations, including unproven allegations that Clinton left classified documents in a Chinese hotel room.
All we’re trying to do is get to the bottom of this. Any American ought to be concerned about what’s in the letter.
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, who is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee
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“All we’re trying to do is get to the bottom of this,” Nunes said in an interview. “Any American ought to be concerned about what’s in the (Nunes) letter.”
The correspondence begins by thanking Comey for informing the Intelligence Committee that the FBI was investigating the newly discovered emails, but then only asks two questions related to the latest revelation before moving on to issues unrelated to it. Four multiple-part questions and requests are then made on other intelligence-related issues.
Nunes’ letter concludes with a request for “answers to these questions as soon as possible, but no later than November 2.” That is just six days before the Nov. 8 general election, in which voters will go to the polls to decide the presidential race between Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump.
The letter’s first question deals with the emails found on Weiner’s computer. Citing news reports, it says the total is 650,000.
“How many of those emails contain metadata showing they were sent to or from former Secretary Clinton’s private server?”
The second question seeks information on the dates the FBI seized electronic devices and when Comey, Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Attorney General Loretta Lynch “first learned the devices contained emails that were pertinent to the (Clinton email server) investigation.”
From that point, the letter veers away from the new revelations, asking next whether McCabe has recused himself from investigations involving Clinton. “If so, when?” the letter asks. “And if not, why not?”
The question was prompted by news reports that McCabe recused himself from an FBI investigation involving Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. The FBI looked into political contributions McAuliffe’s political action committee made to the political campaign of McCabe’s wife.
Nunes’ letter then shifts gears again, turning to allegations that Clinton aides left classified briefing books in a Russian hotel and a car in India, and the possibility that Clinton herself left classified documents in a Chinese hotel room.
The Russia and China incidents, the letter says, are backed by an interview summary released after a Freedom of Information Act request. The China incident is unconfirmed, and no proof of the allegations are given in the letter. Nunes said the committee is trying to verify what happened or not.
Nunes’ letter asks how many times the FBI investigation discovered Clinton or her aides “mishandled hard-copy classified documents while overseas, and how did the incidents affect your decision not to recommend criminal charges?”
In explaining the incident, the State Department told Politico that “a routine security sweep by Diplomatic Security agents identified classified documents” not in Clinton’s Chinese hotel room, but in a staff member’s room.
State Department spokesman John Kirby told Politico that “the suite was still inside of a Diplomatic Security-controlled area, and under the direct control of a Diplomatic Security agent posted outside the room.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, the Burbank Democrat who is the ranking minority member of the Intelligence Committee, could not be reached for comment.