Republicans in the US House of Representatives are behind the leak of text messages between Mark Warner, the top Democrat on Senate Intelligence Committee, and Russian-connected lawyer Adam Waldman, US media reported. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesFive key takeaways from the Russian indictments Shepard Smith: New Mueller indictments prove Russia probe is "opposite of a hoax" Schiff: "We're very close to reaching an agreement" with Federal Bureau of Investigation on countermemo MORE (R-Calif.) after a report revealed that a House Intelligence Committee Republican leaked Sen. Staff for Mr. Nunes then asked for copies to be shared with the House Intelligence Committee.
After the Fox News story broke last month, with the text messages that lacked page numbers, Waldman's attorney sent the letter to Nunes accusing the committee of leaking the documents, according to the source.
Warner exchanged texts with Waldman in trying to contact former British spy Christopher Steele, the person who gathered the so-called Trump dossier, the report added.
Fox News touted the text exchange as an "exclusive", but even some Republicans discounted its worth. Though they were marked "CONFIDENTIAL: Produced to USSSCI on a Confidential Basis", suggesting that they had come from the Senate panel, known as the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the person familiar with the congressional requests said that the stamp was misleading and that other markings gave away their actual origin...
A lawyer for Waldman also came to the conclusion that the House committee leaked the messages and complained to Nunes about the leak, according to the Times. Burr of North Carolina, the committee's Republican chairman, and Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat, were so perturbed by the leak that they demanded a rare meeting with Speaker Paul D. Ryan last month to inform him of their findings.
Nunes spokesman Jack Langer did not deny that the House committee majority was behind the leak in a statement to the Times. "I'm not sure if this coverage could possibly get more absurd".
While the report caused Mr. Trump to question why Mr. Warner would want a private meeting with Mr. Steele, at the time, Mr. Warner and Mr. Burr condemned the leaks in a joint statement calling it "incomplete information" taken out of context.
While Nunes' leak bothered Republican Sen.
But Burr and Senate Intelligence Committee member Marco Rubio (R-FL) both downplayed the significance of the leak and denied it had any impact on their committee's investigation. Warner fully disclosed this to the committee four months ago. His handling of classified information with respect to the "unmasking" scandal he tried to gin up in tandem with the White House was investigated by the House Intelligence Committee, which cleared him of wrongdoing in December.