Representative Devin Nunes is still the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, and he’s once-again using that position in an attempt to cripple the House investigation into connections between Trump and Russia.
After the embarrassing round-robin of exaggerations, mischaracterizations, and flat-out lies Nunes proffered in an attempt to support Trump’s baseless claims that he had been “wiretapped” by President Obama, Nunes was eventually forced to recuse himself from the Trump–Russia investigation. But on Wednesday Nunes not only ignored his recusal, he violated House rules to issue a series of subpoenas designed to, once again, give cover to lies pumped out by Trump.
Donald Trump on Thursday morning …
Devin Nunes on Wednesday …
Committee aides complained that the chairman, Representative Devin Nunes, who publicly recused himself from leading the Russia probe in April following a secret visit he paid to White House officials, failed to consult Democrats on the subpoenas.
The subpoenas asked the agencies to provide details of any requests made by two top Obama administration aides and the former CIA director to “unmask” names of Trump campaign advisers inadvertently picked up in top-secret foreign communications intercepts, congressional sources said.
Nunes move is against the rules, beside the point, and entirely designed to obstruct the actual investigation.
Theoretically, as chairman of the committee, Nunes still has the ability to issued subpoenas, despite having recused himself on the Russia investigation. However, Nunes can only issued subpoenas after informing Democratic members of the committee. That didn’t happen.
On a day when the committee issued subpoenas seeking documents related to the Trump–Russia investigation, Nunes has created his own investigation, single-handedly, using his position as committee chair to subvert and derail the actual investigation as he attempts to provide talking points for Trump.
The embattled head of the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday appeared to have launched an investigation of his own, this one into allegations that senior Obama administration officials improperly “unmasked” the identities of Trump associates captured communicating with foreign officials.
Nunes has subpoenaed three Obama administration officials — CIA Director James Brennan, UN Ambassador Samantha Powers, and, of course, National Security Advisor Susan Rice. The intent is clearly to disrupt proceedings on the Trump–Russia investigation, feed alt-right conspiracy theories regarding the ‘deep state,’ and in general keep the House Intelligence Committee ineffective and at a standstill. Nunes broke the committee, and he’s trying to keep anyone from repairing it.
Nunes is blatantly ignoring his agreement to recuse himself from the investigation and acting to cripple that investigation. A member of Trump’s transition team, Devin Nunes has his loyalty with the Trump regime and zero investment in discovering the truth.
As ranking Democratic member of the committee, Adam Schiff, notes, Democrats did approve a series of subpoenas on Wednesday … just not the ones that Nunes issued. These subpoenas were issued by Congressman Mike Conaway, who has taken charge of the Russia investigation following Nunes’ recusal, and were produced in consultation with committee Democrats as House rules require.
Nunes’ actions on Wednesday only confirm statements made during the last round of his farce of his “leadership” of the investigation.
Nunes is so deep in the tank for Trump that he needs scuba gear. With his words and deeds, he has labored mightily to redirect attention from Trump’s alleged wrongdoing to his claims of persecution, recasting villain as victim. It’s Trump’s gratitude that he’s after, not the truth. …All of this is irregular enough to peg him as a puppet of the Trump administration or a complete boob. Either way, he has surrendered his investigation’s integrity — and his own.
Devin Nunes should surrender his position as chair. And his seat in the House.