House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) seems very intent on getting his hands on information about one specific U.S. intelligence source, though he insists he is "not interested in any individual," as he told The Washington Post on Wednesday. And Monday, as his escalating standoff with the Justice Department over sensitive documents became public, Nunes told reporters that "I've never referenced an individual."
According to an unclassified subpoena reviewed by the Post and CNN, however, Nunes demanded "all documents referring or related to the individual referenced in Chairman Nunes' April 24, 2018, classified letter to Attorney General Sessions," and that's the only material he seeks. Nunes' request so concerned the Justice Department, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and other intelligence officials asked the White House to intervene, arguing that handing over the document would endanger the individual in question — a U.S. citizen and longtime FBI and CIA source who the Post says has helped Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation — and compromise an ongoing investigation.
President Trump has sided with the Justice Department for now, but White House officials are urging Rosenstein and Nunes to compromise. So on Thursday, the Justice Department has invited Nunes and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) to a classified meeting at the Justice Department to discuss the standoff, the Post and CNN report. House Republicans argue that they are entitled to the documents, even though the Justice Department doesn't usually turn over information about ongoing investigations, and they are skeptical that the source's life is at stake, as Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) told CNN:
Copy of appendix of Nunes subpoena reviewed by @LauraAJarrett says he wants "all documents" involving an individual described as intel source. Conaway told me DOJ is "overplaying" its hands and he's "not convinced" disclosure could lead to loss of lives. https://t.co/Uitv0vqHS3
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 9, 2018
House Intelligence Committee Republicans also seem hurt that the feds don't trust them. The Justice Department "assumes we will immediately turn and leak that information, which would jeopardize potentially sources and methods," said Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), and "that we have a cavalier attitude about such things and we will just release it." Just imagine. Peter Weber