Russia. Believe it or not, it’s still there. Republicans have been celebrating a bill which they haven’t read, which won’t pass the Senate, and which is an “abomination” chock full of “malice and indifference to human suffering,” but they really should be toasting another genuine accomplishment: For more than 100 days now, GOP leadership in the House and Senate has managed to derail progress toward investigating connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Break out the Bud Light.
While Devin Nunes’ insane information round-robin scotched a series of public hearings that started off by confirming that the FBI was really looking into Trump–Russia ties, now that Nunes has stepped aside, the House Intelligence Committee has at least returned to closed door hearings. It’s only taken six weeks to get back to work. Sort of.
The House’s investigation into Russian meddling in the election lurched back to life on Thursday, as a closed-door hearing with James B. Comey, director of the F.B.I., and Adm. Michael S. Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, cleared the way for the inquiry to move forward.
What did Comey and Rogers say at this meeting that was different from what they said in public? Probably not much. However, Nunes turned Comey’s appearance into a sticky-trap for the committee, requiring a meeting with the FBI director before anything else could happen, then neatly forgetting to issue an invitation. It was Nunes’ contribution to stopping something the Trump regime really doesn’t want to happen …
After Mr. Nunes scuttled the public hearing with [former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates] and other officials in favor of another round of questions for Mr. Comey and Admiral Rogers, Democrats accused Mr. Nunes of bowing to White House pressure. A series of letters between Ms. Yates’s lawyer and the White House counsel showed that administration officials had tried to block her from testifying before Congress, an accusation the White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, later denied.