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Obama officials threatened with subpoena in Russia probe

Ten officials from the Obama-era State Department and White House have been warned by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., that they will face subpoenas if they refuse to cooperate with an inquiry into the origin of the federal Russia investigation and other matters.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

Nunes wrote a letter Monday to House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., urging the Republican leaders to interview the individuals in an “open setting,” the Washington Examiner reported.

The committees also are examining the Justice Department’s and the FBI’s handling of the probe of Hillary Clinton’s alleged abuse of classified information as well as the agencies’ use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to spy on at least one member of the Trump campaign.

Nunes told the Fox New Channel’s Laura Ingraham the officials can be compelled to testify because they are American citizens.

“They can plead the Fifth,” the congressman said Monday night. “This isn’t going to be like the documents where we’ve had to continue to fight with the Justice Department in order to have access to documents. This is much different. These are all American citizens. They will, if they do not agree to appear under oath, and testify, then they will be subpoenaed. That I could tell you for sure.”

Nunes was referencing his ongoing battle with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and other DOJ officials over the provision of documents relevant to the Clinton and Russia probes.

Last week, the House passed a resolution placing a July 6 deadline on all outstanding documents.

Nunes released a memo in February that cited then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe stating the Justice Department and the FBI relied on the infamous anti-Trump dossier of “salacious and unverified” information from anonymous Russian sources to obtain a warrant from a secret court during the 2016 election campaign to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

The congressional reviews recently revealed that several Obama administration State Department officials were made aware of the dossier in 2016 and that its author, Christopher Steele, briefed State Department officials in October of that year.

Officials on Nunes list linked to the investigation of alleged Trump-Russia collusion are Elizabeth Dibble, former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in London; Victoria Nuland, former assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs; and Jonathan Winer, former special envoy to Libya.

Nunes also sent a letter Friday asking Gowdy and Goodlatte to interview 17 current and former Justice Department and FBI officials.

The intel panel chairman told Ingraham more names will be submitted later this week.