Forgotten in the whole memo drama is the fact that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the author of the memo, was a member of the Trump transition team. As such, he was supposed to have recused himself from Russia-related affairs, a promise which appears to have slipped his mind.
It’s become painfully obvious that Devin Nunes and other House Republicans have absolutely no interest in truth or justice. Instead of a fair investigation into Trump’s actions, they are using the House investigation to provide cover for Trump from Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Now, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has indicated that Nunes determination to obstruct the Mueller investigation goes even deeper, saying that it’s “very possible” that Nunes’ staff coordinated directly with the White House during the entire process. ABC News reports,
‘Schiff replied, “I don’t know whether members of Congress can be part of an obstruction case … but the president’s use of this, the president’s decision, for example, ‘I’m going to release the memo even though the FBI says it’s inaccurate, even though the Department of Justice says it’s reckless’ … That could be evidence of the president’s intent to interfere with the investigation.”
‘When Fox News’ Bret Baier asked Nunes on Friday, “Did you or anyone on your committee coordinate in any way with President Trump or the administration on the release of this memo? Or with the structure of this memo?,” the congressman responded, “No.” Nunes added that his committee began investigating possible abuse of surveillance powers by the intelligence community months ago, in the summer of 2017.
‘On “This Week” Sunday, Stephanopoulos asked Schiff about Nunes’ denial. The Democratic representative noted that the Republican chairman had not made the same assertion about there being no coordination while in committee.’
You can watch Schiff’s comments below:
When questioned about whether there was coordination at the staff and aide level, Republicans have been suspiciously evasive.
Interesting portion from the transcript of the HPSCI meeting on Monday, when they voted to release the Nunes memo. Quigley asked Nunes whether the WH was involved; he initially said no, then evaded a more pointed question. pic.twitter.com/Q9y2WH7iZO
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) January 31, 2018
What’s more is that this is not the first time Nunes has engaged in shady behavior to attempt to screen Trump from fair, objective investigation. In March, he pulled a very similar move. From WaPo:
‘Around dusk on March 21, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) — head of the House Intelligence Committee and its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election — was riding in an Uber with a staff member. Suddenly, he looked at his phone and got out of the car without saying where he was going.
‘When he got out of that Uber, he went to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building within the White House complex. Multiple White House officials orchestrated his visit, during which he was shown classified information about unmasked surveillance.
‘Given Nunes’s history of defending the president, it’s not surprising that this memo originated in his office. Even before he went to the White House on March 21, there are hints that he had been coordinating his efforts with Trump’s team. Shortly before a March 20 Intelligence Committee hearing meeting — the same meeting where officials denied that Trump Tower had been wiretapped — an individual in the White House told reporter Ryan Lizza that Nunes would probably highlight the issue of incidental collection. “The White House clearly indicated to me that it knew Nunes would highlight this issue,” Lizza wrote for the New Yorker.’
Here’s more on that incident via CNN and ABC:
It’s clear that Devin Nunes is abusing the power he’s been granted on the House Intelligence Committee. He has no interest in finding out what Trump is guilty (or innocent) of. Instead, he’s providing media distractions and cover in Congress for the Trump administration.
Nunes, and the rest of the GOP, need to be held accountable for their ongoing complicity in the abuses of power and of our democracy by the Trump administration.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images