Republicans in Congress are lining up behind President Trump by demanding investigations into the illegal leaks that have been coming out of the federal government since Trump took office, seeing Mike Flynn’s ouster as the last straw.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman David Nunes (R-Calif.) is drafting a letter to the FBI formally asking the bureau to investigate the leaks, including an examination of those who leaked the phone call between former National Security Advisor Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that led to Flynn’s ousting on Monday.
“I expect the FBI to tell me what’s going on and hopefully they have a good answer,” Nunes said Tuesday. “The big problem I see here is you have an American citizen who has had his phone call recorded and leaked.”
The government has very strict rules regarding the monitoring of American calls to foreigners, and that “very few people” in government would be able to procure these leaks because call details are erased unless there’s a court order, Nunes said.
“So somebody had to decide to keep recording those calls and then to unmask that and leak it to the press,” he added. “We don’t even know who recorded this.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee may also launch its own probe into the leaked phone calls between Flynn and the Russians, and look into whether the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Service) Court permitted any party to record the conversations.
“I think there are a number of unanswered questions that need to be answered about the documents, about whether there was a FISA order,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said.
In addition to Flynn’s leaks, numerous transcripts of Trump’s phone calls with world leaders have also leaked, including calls with Australian Prime Minister Turnbull and Mexican President Nieto, in moves meant to embarrass Trump.
“The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy. Very un-American!” Trump tweeted Wednesday.