Devin Nunes’s office clarifies: No, the DOJ didn’t wiretap the cloakroom in the House of Representatives

posted at 4:01 pm on May 16, 2013 by Allahpundit

Duane Patterson’s Greenroom transcript of Nunes’s chat with Hugh Hewitt was accurate, but Nunes’s claims were not. Which seemed likely at the time: If the GOP was sitting on a scoop about Eric Holder’s deputies bugging conversations inside Congress, it probably would have been announced in a more prominent way than as an aside during an interview with a member who’s not part of leadership.

Here’s what he said:

HH: …I don’t trust the Department of Justice on this. Do you, Congressman Nunes?

DN: No, I absolutely do not, especially after this wiretapping incident, essentially, of the House of Representative. I don’t think people are focusing on the right thing when they talk about going after the AP reporters. The big problem that I see is that they actually tapped right where I’m sitting right now, the Cloak Room.

HH: Wait a minute, this is news to me.

DN: The Cloak Room in the House of Representatives.

HH: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

DN: So when they went after the AP reporters, right? Went after all of their phone records, they went after the phone records, including right up here in the House Gallery, right up from where I’m sitting right now. So you have a real separation of powers issue that did this really rise to the level that you would have to get phone records that would, that would most likely include members of Congress, because as you know…

HH: Wow.

DN: …members of Congress talk to the press all the time.

HH: I did not know that, and that is a stunner.

The DOJ admitted to obtaining call records from a phone used by the AP in the House press gallery, which is … different from tapping a room used by congressmen to talk shop. How Nunes confused the two, I have no idea. He recovers a bit, sort of, at the end of the excerpt when he pivots back to phone records, but I don’t know how he got from point A to point B in that conversation. His office is now “clarifying” what he said:

What Rep. Nunes meant by “tapped” was that the DOJ seized the phone records, as has been widely reported. There was a little confusion between him and the host during the conversation: He did not mean to refer to phone records of the cloakroom itself, but of the Capitol. This refers to the phone records for the AP from the House press gallery, which the DOJ admitted to looking at. He was explaining that if those phone records were seized, they would reveal a lot of conversations between the press and members of Congress, since reporters often speak to Members from the press gallery phones. The notion of the DOJ looking at phone records from the Capitol of conversations between Members of Congress and reporters is something that concerns Rep. Nunes, bringing up issues related to the separation of powers.

So he was sloppy in confusing obtaining phone records for wiretapping, and what he meant by the cloakroom is that, I guess, if a congressman in the room called up to an AP reporter in the press gallery, the DOJ would know about it from the gallery phone’s records. That’s a legit separation of powers question, but hyping a claim into something explosive and then having to walk it back risks creating an impression that reaction to what the actually DOJ did is overblown. It isn’t. Careful, please.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

This is why there’s a call to wait for the facts to out.

Good Lt on May 16, 2013 at 3:59 PM

It isn’t. Careful, please.

Indeed.

I’m carefully, very carefully, asking “why did the news about the Boston terrorist brother scribbling all those bad things onto the walls of the boat not come out instantly?”

Schadenfreude on May 16, 2013 at 3:59 PM

cozmo was right.

Schadenfreude on May 16, 2013 at 3:59 PM

How Nunes confused the two, I have no idea.

He’s stupid, perhaps?

Mr. Arkadin on May 16, 2013 at 4:00 PM

I think we are going to find many more surprises before this is over…

d1carter on May 16, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Heard that last night and Ace sniffed it out pretty quickly.

DanMan on May 16, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Always count on the Rs to be fools.

Schadenfreude on May 16, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Looks like Nines got a call from IRS ?

burrata on May 16, 2013 at 4:06 PM

The fact that calls were made, a call log, is very helpful in an investigation or in political intimidation. Traffic analysis. Careful please.

65droptop on May 16, 2013 at 4:06 PM

The stupid party never fails…

blue13326 on May 16, 2013 at 4:06 PM

So Nunes hyperventilated and misspoke

OK

Isn’t it weird though that Holder wanted to map the phone calls of congress & their staff with Journalists in the press room?

Alberto Gonzales was quoted saying that even at the peak Bush years they never went after the press for leaks.

Congress should keep digging.

workingclass artist on May 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Congressman Squirrel.

Dude, prepare to become a household name.

Marcus on May 16, 2013 at 4:14 PM

How Nunes confused the two, I have no idea.

He’s from Kalifornia.

nobar on May 16, 2013 at 4:17 PM

At this point, what does it matter?

But sure, AP, let’s all focus on the one case where there wasn’t any malfeasance on the part of the Ogabe Junta so we won’t all be distracted by the 7,332 cases where there was.

Good job.

Misha I on May 16, 2013 at 4:19 PM

Really, Devin Nunes? FAIL!

Way to put another extremist on a pedestal.

If this really happened please find a credible source not an unknown nutter. If this is true it is clearly an impeachable breech. But that won’t happen with clowns leading the brigade.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 8:21 PM

This was what I was saying yesterday when the entire thread blew up at me.

Vindication is meh. What would be nice is if GOP pols didn’t make fools of the party in this way. The scandal is perfectly exploitable without puffing it up with phony, incredible accusations.

I don’t expect an apology. I don’t even expect any one of you who vociferously disputed my call to “wait and see” to own up. That’s the difference between them and me.

I acknowledge my errors when pointed out to me. We’ll see if any of you value your integrity or you’re just full of crap.

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Isn’t it weird though that Holder wanted to map the phone calls of congress & their staff with Journalists in the press room?

workingclass artist on May 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Not wierd at all, it was a national security matter, didn’t you hear ?
The guy who runs guns for drug cartels across the border and defends jihadies from around the world,
and knows absolutely nothing about anything in his own department had grave concerns about our national security and so his underlings wanted to get some dirt on Congressmen to pass on to the IRS thugs , for national security you know !!!!

burrata on May 16, 2013 at 4:24 PM

This was pointed out first on the Greenroom thread by Hot Air’s most cogent commenter:

Getting phone numbers and tapping phones are different things.

Ted Torgerson on May 15, 2013 at 8:36 PM

:D

Ted Torgerson on May 16, 2013 at 4:24 PM

I heard this live and I understood it to mean they retrieved the phone record. Not wiretapped. What’s the big deal?

jawkneemusic on May 16, 2013 at 4:25 PM

I don’t expect an apology.

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Maybe if you hadn’t been such a total jerk yesterday, and today, you wouldn’t be whining now.

But whining is what your type is best at the only thing your kind is good not horrible at.

Of course if the parties were reversed, y’all would still be ranting that since the charge was credible, it should be investigated further.

cozmo on May 16, 2013 at 4:28 PM

This will be the leading story on MSM tonight.

Jackalope on May 16, 2013 at 4:29 PM

This will be the leading story on MSM tonight.

Jackalope on May 16, 2013 at 4:29 PM

They are so butthurt, they need something to cheer about.

cozmo on May 16, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Getting phone numbers and tapping phones are different things.

Ted Torgerson on May 15, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Why does Holder sorry his underlings need those phone numbers anyway ?

burrata on May 16, 2013 at 4:32 PM

@mad con

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 4:32 PM

This was what I was saying yesterday when the entire thread blew up at me.

Au contraire. I only corrected your usage of the word ‘breech’ for ‘breach,’ which is an error that I have noticed more than once.

I don’t expect an apology.

Neither do I.

Resist We Much on May 16, 2013 at 4:33 PM

I’m carefully, very carefully, asking “why did the news about the Boston terrorist brother scribbling all those bad things onto the walls of the boat not come out instantly?”

Schadenfreude on May 16, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Ironically, there was also numerous uncounted ballet boxes from the recent SC House election.

trs on May 16, 2013 at 4:33 PM

This is why there’s a call to wait for the facts to out.

Good Lt

How does one know when the facts are out?

xblade on May 16, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Maybe if you hadn’t been such a total jerk yesterday, and today, you wouldn’t be whining now.

(smiles)

You mean if I hadn’t been myself? Sorry dude. The barn door is open and I’m a Screech-owl. This is how it goes.

I don’t base facts on emotion. If I do let me know. That’s what Mad Con. That’s why he gets an apology.

That above link is a quasi-apology to MadCon. Feel free to rub some of that wherever it feels good. Get it while it lasts.

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Resist We Much on May 16, 2013 at 4:33 PM

What more can I do than call myself an “idiot.” I know I grew up knowing how to spell “breach.” I know I spelled “breech” correctly when writing about my nephew’s birth.

But I’m an idiot. Because somewhere along the way (probably around the time I started using cell phones) I stopped refreshing what was not recently learned. I was speaking Spanish to someone one day after not using it for a long time and I think I ended proposing to a dog.

Like I said. I’m an idiot.

You did what I would have done.

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 4:39 PM

I’m carefully, very carefully, asking “why did the news about the Boston terrorist brother scribbling all those bad things onto the walls of the boat not come out instantly?”

Schadenfreude on May 16, 2013 at 3:59 PM

perhaps to lessen the sting of Holder getting blamed for stopping Djoker from testifying after being read his Miranda rights. That written text trumps his potentially nullified admissions up to then.

DanMan on May 16, 2013 at 4:42 PM

How does one know when the facts are out?

xblade on May 16, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Love the truth more than you hate the opposition.

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 4:42 PM

I was speaking Spanish to someone one day after not using it for a long time and I think I ended proposing to a dog.

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Did the dog say yes si ??
;-)

burrata on May 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Schadenfreude on May 16, 2013 at 3:59 PM
“why did the news about the Boston terrorist brother scribbling all those bad things onto the walls of the boat not come out instantly?”

I think this is a great question.

Yes, you’re still an anti-gay bigot.

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

¿Hey perro, te quieres casarte conmigo?

man what the heck were you talking about to end up with that? funny stuff.

DanMan on May 16, 2013 at 4:45 PM

burrata on May 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

I could tell something was wrong with each contortion of this poor woman’s face. So, yeah, as a human I’m prone to grade-school FAILS!

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 4:39 PM

So, you admit that you were incorrect when you wrote on this thread that the entire thread yesterday blew up at you. Correct? Because I was on that thread and I did not ‘blow up’ at you, especially on the subject of Nunes.

Resist We Much on May 16, 2013 at 4:51 PM

¿Hey perro, te quieres casarte conmigo?

Sabes la película se llama “Amor es perros?”

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Resist We Much on May 16, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Figure it out.

I acknowledged that error last night.

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 5:00 PM

OT
WAY OT

WTF?

Is this a Chinese Hot Air clone.

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 5:01 PM

WTF?

Domain name: zhenzhila.com

Administrative Contact:

jack P ()
+1.94832312732
Fax:
21 Hiddenview Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19121
US

Technical Contact:

jack P ()
+1.94832312732
Fax:
21 Hiddenview Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19121
US

Registrant Contact:

jack P ()

Fax:
21 Hiddenview Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19121
US

Status: Locked

Name Servers:
beth.ns.cloudflare.com
igor.ns.cloudflare.com

Creation date: 26 Mar 2012 03:14:01
Expiration date: 26 Mar 2014 03:14:00

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 5:02 PM

So analyzing phone records from the AP phone in the gallery is NOT a violation of constitutional separation of powers? At all?

I beg to differ. That its the gallery phone makes it worse!

PoliTech on May 16, 2013 at 5:02 PM

I beg to differ. That its the gallery phone makes it worse!

PoliTech on May 16, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Well you are the only person who believes this. But here’s the thing tapping the phones was not illegal either. It was a violation of our rights. It was a violation of the First Amendment, which is a violation to all.

But those rights were sold away long ago. Follow the bouncing ball…down the sewer.

We all get that you want to do an end around and be the most conservative voice in the room. But you’re just being stupid.

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Jeebus, the last time I saw this much pathetic whining was watching Jerry Seinfeld.

cozmo on May 16, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Figure it out.

I acknowledged that error last night.

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 5:00 PM

No, YOU figure it out…

TODAY:

This was what I was saying yesterday when the entire thread blew up at me.

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 4:23 PM

The ‘entire thread’ did NOT blow up at you yesterday. I know this because I was on that thread and I did NOT blow up at you.

Resist We Much on May 16, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Capitalist Hog, google “Checks and balances”.

Then, don’t bother getting back to me.

PoliTech on May 16, 2013 at 5:10 PM

I have to confess, I’ve never heard of this guy before this incident…

d1carter on May 16, 2013 at 5:12 PM

What a dope.

Ward Cleaver on May 16, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Now I know who is honest and who isn’t. I’ve replied to every challenge I’ve met in the past day or so here at HA. It’s funny to watch you all wither away from your own words while freaking out over mine.

Resist We Much rightly mockeed me for dipshite spelling errors. He, Cozmo (dick) and one other I can’t recall are the only ones who exercised prudence on this issue yesterday.

That none of you saps recognize how reckless your premature damning can be is telling. You’ll have no leg to stand on when making your bigot-case against gay-marriage or bashing all Muslims as terrorists.

I hold Schadenfreude in special regard. He is the most consistently bigoted voice here at Hot Air. It must take practice. Hats off, haters.

@Madison Conservative
This is goading.

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 5:18 PM

when he said tapped I didn’t think he meant wiretapping.
I thought he was just using slang, like I tapped the boss for more money, etc.

dmacleo on May 16, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Capitalist Hog, google “Checks and balances”.

Then, don’t bother getting back to me.

PoliTech on May 16, 2013 at 5:10 PM

How about this. You allege that laws have been broken with no evidence thereof. The solution is simple; prove your assertion. Or STFU.

I’m pissed, everybody here is pissed about this. But anger is not data. You have no facts. You have feelings. Go feel yourself.

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 5:21 PM

This was what I was saying yesterday when the entire thread blew up at me.

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 4:23 PM

You think a little too highly of yourself.

slickwillie2001 on May 16, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Lucky you for getting my gender right. Though I fail to see the need for mentioning my sexual organ in the context of this thread.

When 0bamacare becomes the law of the land, they may give you a pill for your issue with letting things go.

Or maybe not. You may not be deemed worthy.

cozmo on May 16, 2013 at 5:30 PM

i think Hugh went a little overboard…you know..breaking news and all that. At minimum, hugh did Not help.

here’s what the guy said..w/out Hugh

So when they went after the AP reporters, right? Went after all of their phone records, they went after the phone records, including right up here in the House Gallery, right up from where I’m sitting right now. So you have a real separation of powers issue that did this really rise to the level that you would have to get phone records that would, that would most likely include members of Congress, because as you know……members of Congress talk to the press all the time.

is it a sloppy construction? yeah…but it is clear what he was trying to say…and had Hugh had his wits about him he would have clarified it on the spot…but Hugh was more interested in being stunned.

the left will go all a tizzy…but they won’t talk about Emanuel Cleavers little piece of doggerel about all the opposition to barry being totally because of barry’s pigmentation

of course, leftists see nothing wrong in that…nothing to correct…that is called Truth to Power…right trolls?

r keller on May 16, 2013 at 6:02 PM

You think a little too highly of yourself.

slickwillie2001 on May 16, 2013 at 5:21 PM

AOL called. They want their 3.0 disc back.

Lucky you for getting my gender right.

Yes, yes. I can only imagine the horror one must feel at the thought of Cozmo being upset with me.

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Yeah I posted about this too. I repeated the report I heard on the radio.

I’d still like to ask, “Have they actually swept the cloakroom or their offices?”

Zero is capable of anything.

dogsoldier on May 16, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Capitalist Hog on May 16, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Try to dial it down next time, Moby. You’d be more convincing!

PoliTech on May 16, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Nunes represents my district, which is a solid Republican district. Republicans in California tend to be more conservative than those from other states (such as Massachusetts). He’s been good for the most part. He ran unopposed in the 2010 general election.

eaglescout_1998 on May 16, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Nunes doubles down…

“Today Nunes told reporter David Drucker, “There’s no other explanation.”

Roll Call reported:

Expanding on a Wednesday interview with conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, Rep. Devin Nunes told me Thursday morning that there is no other explanation in light of the DOJ’s acknowledgment that, as part of its inquiry into national security leaks, it subpoenaed AP phone records from the House press gallery. That’s a prime spot from which reporters frequently initiate and receive telephone calls from members of Congress and their staff.

The California Republican said that the AP phone records scandal that has focused on First Amendment infringement actually runs deeper, and should examine what he is convinced includes an illegal violation of the separation of powers by President Barack Obama’s administration.

“As I pointed out to Hugh Hewitt, there’s no question that Justice knows what members of Congress the AP was talking to during the two-month time period,” Nunes told CQ Roll Call.

Nunes serves on the House Intelligence Committee and, as such, said he has some familiarity with the leak the Department of Justice is investigating, a leak he said many committee members are genuinely concerned about.

The cloakrooms serve as a place for members to socialize, eat, and take naps without leaving the building. These rooms are closed to all except for Senators and Representatives, and a few of their trusted staffers, and even have their own phone numbers.

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/05/gop-rep-nunes-doubles-down-holder-was-monitoring-house-press-gallery/

workingclass artist on May 16, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Devin Nunes’s office clarifies: No, the DOJ didn’t wiretap the cloakroom in the House of Representatives

…And if you believe that, you’ll also believe that Obamacrats refused to use the technical information they illegally obtained and refused to listen to the phone because it was contrary to their sense of “fairness”.

landlines on May 17, 2013 at 1:37 AM