On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee formally opened an investigation into claims that the FBI spied on two Republican staffers with the House Intelligence Committee while the “Russian collusion” probe was ongoing.
As reported by Just The News, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray addressing prior reporting by Just The News that the bureau had seized from Google the private email of Kash Patel, who had served as the chief investigator for then-Chairman of the Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).
The seizure occurred in late 2017, just before the release of an official memo from Chairman Nunes highlighting numerous wrongdoings in the Russia probe formally known as “Operation Crossfire Hurricane.” Patel and one other unnamed investigator from the committee who also had his emails seized were not informed about it until 2022, five years later.
“The Committee on the Judiciary is conducting oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),” Jordan said in his letter to Wray. “In 2017, Google reportedly received subpoenas for private emails and records belonging to two Republican staffers of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) while HPSCI was investigating the FBI’s misconduct.”
“These subpoenas only came to light in 2022 due to Google’s policy of alerting customers five years after law enforcement takes such action,” Jordan continued. “The timing of these subpoenas raises questions about whether the subpoenas were in retaliation for HPSCI’s oversight of the FBI.”
The letter was sent just one day before Wray arrived on Capitol Hill to provide sworn testimony under oath before the Judiciary Committee. Wray repeatedly refused to answer questions from Republican members, including Troy Nehls (R-Texas) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), regarding the FBI’s alleged abuse of power, weaponization against conservative activists, and potential involvement in the January 6th protests.
“I can definitively say it was an unlawful surveillance and snooping of me and it wasn’t just me,” Patel said in an interview responding to the news. “And I think it’s more than two people. And I think it’s more than just telephone and bank and phone records. I think they went further than that and got congressional records. So the House better step up right now. Because right now it affects them as much it affects me.”
Jordan’s letter orders the FBI to surrender all “documents and communications referring or relating to subpoenas issued to Google or any other email or telecommunications provider for records of members or staff of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staff in 2017.”