As chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes released a memo in February 2018 describing how Barack Obama’s Justice Department misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain permission to spy on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Democrats did not want that memo out. In the days and weeks leading up its distribution, Smith describes how the crusade against Nunes “took an even more dangerous turn.”
An orchestrated assault against Nunes’ family, including his wife and three young daughters, posed such a threat that law enforcement agents were assigned to the grade school where Nunes’ wife works. Hackers imitated Nunes’ cell phone numbers; calls were made to up to two dozen relatives, including his 98-year-old grandmother and mother-in-law, so they would answer.
“Then they made it sound like I was kidnapped and that I’d better back off or something bad’s going to happen to me,” Nunes told Smith. “So clearly they had a whole plan where they called to threaten all of those people.”