|Nunes - Trump co-conspirator?|
The efforts by House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes to protect Der Trumpenführer and to keep the American public from learning the truth about Trump's Russia ties have become so extreme that not only is it time for the appointment of a special prosecutor, but it's time that Nunes himself be investigated. Remember, Nunes was on Trump's transition team and may either have known of or been involved in improper behavior. Having him chair the committee investigating possible wrongdoing - and treason - is putting the fox in charge of the hen house. A column in the New York Times looks at the dangerous situation. Here are excerpts:
Representative Devin Nunes obviously fancies himself Jason Bourne. To sneak onto the White House grounds for that rendezvous with an unnamed source last week, he switched cars and ditched aides, vanishing into the night.But Senator Lindsey Graham looks at him and sees a different character. Graham said on the “Today” show on Tuesday that Nunes was bumbling his way though something of an “Inspector Clouseau investigation,” a reference to the fantastically inept protagonist of the “Pink Panther” comedies.
I salute Graham’s movie vocabulary. I quibble with his metaphor. While Clouseau was a benign fool, there’s nothing benign about Nunes’s foolishness.
As chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes, a California Republican, is a principal sleuth in the paramount inquiry into whether members of the Trump campaign were in cahoots with Russia, and from all appearances, he either doesn’t want to know the answer or has determined it already — in President Trump’s favor.
Democrats are rightly calling on him to recuse himself. They’ve been joined in their alarm by Graham, a South Carolina Republican, and Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican. As Graham summoned the specter of Clouseau, McCain said on “CBS This Morning” that “something’s got to change.”
But Nunes was defiant when asked by reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday whether he would continue to guide that effort, saying, “Why would I not?” Oh, many reasons.
Let’s start here: The Intelligence Committee isn’t supposed to be a partisan arm of the majority party (though it has behaved that way in the past). And any collusion with the White House is a betrayal of its special oversight role.
When James Comey, the F.B.I. director, appeared before Nunes’s committee to confirm his own agency’s investigation into Trump-Russia ties, Nunes changed the subject to the media’s acquisition of classified information, going on about leaks, leaks, leaks. He sounded more like a plumber than a politician.
And when Nunes gathered reporters around him two days later, it was to say that he’d seen secret documents suggesting that people around Trump may indeed have been subject to surveillance by our government.
This week we learned that Nunes got that information during that rendezvous, details of which he has not provided to his fellow committee members, just as he failed to share the information itself with Democrats on the committee before he went public with it.
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.
Spicer is right that we’re obsessed with Russia, wrong that it’s as random as condiments. We’re obsessed because every signal from the administration and its allies is that they don’t want us looking any further or any closer, and Nunes’s Bourne identity is the most glaring signal of all.
If Trump and his associates have nothing to hide, why all the cloak and dagger? And why such clumsiness?