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Nunes, in spat with Justice Department, threatens Sessions with contempt over Russia materials

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes warned Sunday that he plans to urge lawmakers "this week" to hold A...

Posted: May 7, 2018 9:34 AM
Updated: May 7, 2018 9:34 AM

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes warned Sunday that he plans to urge lawmakers "this week" to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of Congress for failing to hand over classified materials related to the Russia investigation.

But the Justice Department informed Nunes three days ago -- on the deadline for responding to a subpoena from Nunes' committee -- that providing the information on a "specific individual" could pose grave implications for national security, according to a letter obtained by CNN.

"Disclosure of responsive information to such requests can risk severe consequences, including potential loss of human lives, damage to relationships with valued international partners, compromise of ongoing criminal investigations, and interference with intelligence activities," wrote Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd, who heads the Justice Department's Office of Legislative Affairs.

It was not immediately clear why Nunes has targeted Sessions. A source familiar with the matter said that the request falls squarely within Sessions' recusal from all materials related to the Russia investigation. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has been fielding the document requests in his place.

Nunes has not described precisely what information he's seeking, but he said Sunday on "Fox and Friends" that it's "very important."

"We're just not going to take this nonsense of every time we peel something back, every time we need information, we get ignored, we get stalled or stonewalled," Nunes said.

The Justice Department and the California Republican have been down this road before. CNN reported Friday that Nunes threatened to hold Justice Department officials in contempt of Congress on several occasions for failing to turn over sensitive documents related to the Russia investigation only to not read the materials once they were made available to him.

When asked about CNN's reporting by Fox News' Laura Ingraham on Friday evening, Nunes said he wouldn't play "process games" or discuss "specifics about how we conduct our investigation," emphasizing that Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina has read them instead, which CNN has reported.

Despite not reading the documents, Nunes' past threats, with the backing of the White House and House Speaker Paul Ryan, have resulted in the Justice Department making a significant amount of classified materials related to the Russia investigation available to lawmakers, including the document that formally authorized the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, the controversial surveillance warrants on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, and the records related to the infamous dossier on Trump and Russia.

This time, the Justice Department appears to have the backing of the White House in resisting Nunes' request -- at least for now.

Boyd's letter makes clear that the Justice Department determined after consulting with the White House, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence that it was "not in a position to provide information responsive to your request regarding a specific individual."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 113081

Reported Deaths: 3231
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7823176
DeSoto676778
Harrison490283
Jackson439383
Rankin385986
Madison375793
Lee349079
Forrest298078
Jones285384
Washington253799
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Lamar219038
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Neshoba1820111
Lowndes175562
Panola167638
Leflore163287
Sunflower158849
Warren153255
Monroe146572
Pontotoc145219
Pike137256
Lincoln136856
Marshall136226
Copiah135736
Coahoma124036
Scott123829
Grenada120638
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Simpson119549
Union116025
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Holmes113760
Tate113639
Itawamba111325
Pearl River110559
Adams105243
Prentiss102919
Wayne99421
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George95718
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Marion93342
Tippah86521
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Winston82621
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Tishomingo79741
Hancock78727
Attala78126
Clarke72750
Clay68421
Jasper67417
Walthall63327
Calhoun61812
Noxubee59617
Smith58516
Claiborne53416
Montgomery53123
Tunica52317
Yalobusha51314
Lawrence50414
Perry48423
Carroll46812
Greene45918
Stone45514
Amite42013
Humphreys41916
Quitman4176
Jefferson Davis40011
Webster36613
Wilkinson33120
Kemper32115
Benton3194
Sharkey28014
Jefferson27110
Franklin2373
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1064
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 154942

Reported Deaths: 2660
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22720374
Mobile14405314
Tuscaloosa10066137
Montgomery9820196
Madison907894
Shelby715361
Lee646165
Baldwin644369
Marshall431048
Calhoun416059
Etowah412249
Morgan400033
Houston365532
DeKalb325428
Elmore312852
St. Clair283842
Limestone273630
Walker269993
Talladega259135
Cullman231024
Lauderdale212540
Jackson205515
Autauga202130
Franklin201731
Colbert193330
Russell19053
Blount187325
Dallas186027
Chilton182632
Escambia171428
Coffee16829
Covington166629
Dale163851
Chambers133043
Pike131313
Tallapoosa129587
Clarke127317
Marion105029
Butler99840
Barbour9969
Marengo98222
Winston90613
Geneva8447
Lawrence81131
Pickens81117
Randolph80514
Bibb80114
Hale74830
Cherokee72314
Clay72212
Lowndes70228
Henry6386
Bullock63717
Monroe63610
Washington62312
Crenshaw59830
Perry5816
Wilcox55912
Fayette55713
Conecuh55613
Cleburne5327
Macon53020
Sumter46821
Lamar4595
Choctaw38712
Greene34016
Coosa1993
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