Speaking to Breitbart News on its SiriusXM channel over the weekend, Nunes (R-Calif.) decried the investigation launched by the California Democrat earlier this month, arguing that those in the majority would use the effort to slam President Trump.
“[Democrats are] running an investigation from the Intelligence Committee, which has become the impeachment committee, on the situation that happened up in Seattle and Portland. But guess what? They’re running the investigation to see what federal assets did the Trump administration use and was it legal or not to keep the peace in the Pacific Northwest.
“So they are going to hold hearings, but they’re basically holding hearings to condemn the Trump administration for trying to save Americans’ lives and save Americans’ property and save us from all this looting and rioting and trying to keep under somewhat of some civil discourse here. So, they’re having hearings all right, but for the opposite reason,” the Trump ally told the outlet’s radio show.
Earlier this month, the committee launched a probe focused on DHS’ intelligence gathering arm, which reportedly distributed materials on both reporters and demonstrators who took part in protests in major US cities.
“The revelations thus far require a full accounting, and, if substantiated, must never be allowed to occur again,” Schiff wrote in a letter to top DHS officials at the time.
In July, a Washington Post report found that DHS had accessed encrypted messages from protesters through the secured app Telegram.
The report sparked outrage, and resulted in a statement from Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf disavowing the actions of his intelligence branch.
In his interview with Breitbart, Nunes defended the president’s use of DHS amid rampant unrest in cities nationwide.
“Essentially what they’re doing is the Department of Homeland Security, which Trump deployed obviously to protect the federal courthouse and other federal areas, they’re running an investigation into the Department of Homeland Security from the House Intelligence Committee,” he argued.
“It’s supposed to have our focus on things like China, Russia, North Korea, counter-intelligence, and terrorism. But that’s clearly not what they’re after. What they’re doing is, first of all, they impeached the president using the Intelligence Committee but if that’s not enough. Here you have assets that the president is trying to use to help protect the government and federal property and they are now running an investigation into whether or not the president properly used that equipment or not to help aid in protecting federal property.”