Striking back at years of politicized intelligence attacks on former President Donald Trump, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., called out Biden administration intelligence leaders at Thursday's worldwide threats hearing.
"I hope you plan on spending a reasonable amount of time in upcoming years on activities other than investigating conservatives and spying on Republican presidential campaigns," Nunes, Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, said in his pointed opening statement.
"At a time when the intelligence committee directors appear reluctant to even name Islamic extremists as a terrorism threat, and they spend so much time virtue signaling on Democrat priorities such as global warming, I'm concerned about specific sets of issues that include terrorist networks are continuing to spread, international drug cartels and human traffickers are crossing our borders as we speak, foreign cyber criminals are penetrating our digital infrastructure, and we still can't get answers about the true origins of the coronavirus in China."
Nunes opened with a rebuke of the Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who wrote a politicized press release announcing Thursday's hearing, firing shots at former President Donald Trump, a man he twice failed to get removed after impeachments.
"Over the last four years, the Trump administration discarded the tradition of open hearings on World Wide Threats, when it displeased the former president to have his preferred views of rival nations contradicted by agency heads," Schiff's statement read.
Nunes noted in his opening statement that even that announcement was an attempt to already politically weaponize the intelligence community, because Trump rejected the public hearings because of the weaponization of intelligence against him.
"The real reason Trump officials didn't want to participate is that for years Democrats hijacked our open hearings to advance conspiracy theories on the Trump administration being filled with Russian agents who colluded with [Vladimir] Putin in the 2016 election, among many other issues," Nunes shot back.
"Based on this experience," he continued, "we have little reason to hope the Democrats have any interest in using today's hearing to fulfill the committee's core missions, to ensure the intelligence community is properly resourced, and to monitor it for abuses.
"Instead, we expect the Democrats will further encourage the weaponization of the intelligence community against so-called domestic extremists amongst other conspiracy theories.
"Democrats see political benefits in characterizing wide swaths of American citizens, particularly Republicans and conservatives, as politically suspect, politically violent, and deserving of government surveillance."
Nunes reminded intelligence is intended for foreign threats and not American citizens.
"The increasing politicization of this apparatus risks becoming a threat to our national security in and of itself," Nunes concluded in his opening statement.
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