Thursday, January 04, 2018

Deputy AG, FBI Director Make Unannounced Visit to Paul Ryan

Rod Rosenstein
As numerous media outlets have reported, GOP Rep. Devin Nunes has done all he can do to sabotage the House Intelligence Committee's Russiagate investigation and appears to be colluding with the White House to obstruct the committee's investigation and perhaps that of special counsel Robert Mueller.  Indeed, at some point one has to wonder when Nunes is going to be indicted for obstruction of justice himself.  His sole agenda is to keep the truth about Trump/Russia collusion and possible money laundering from being revealed. It is in this situation that Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray paid an unannounced visit to Speaker Paul Ryan's office.  The focus of the meeting appears to have been about requests from Nunes for sensitive documents that Nunes likely would have turned over to the White House and/or used to further subvert the Russiagate investigation.  Politico looks at Nunes' improper actions:
Nunes (R-Calif) has mounted an aggressive push — with the threat of contempt citations for members of the FBI and Justice Department — to glean more information about how the FBI handled a disputed dossier alleging illicit ties between President Donald Trump and the Kremlin. 
Nunes is seeking details about meetings between FBI officials and those who helped compile the dossier. He also demanded interviews with a slate of top FBI officials. And he's floated the notion of issuing contempt resolutions against Rosenstein and Wray if they fail to comply.
Trump has called the dossier false, even as investigators sought to corroborate some of the allegations within it. But Republicans remain skeptical about whether the FBI used unverified information as it began pursuing its investigation of Trump campaign ties to Russia.
It was not immediately clear what Rosenstein and Wray sought from Ryan. But they've been increasingly at odds with Nunes over his demands to produce documents related to the Russia probe and the use of the dossier. Nunes is also leading a subset of GOP members of the intelligence committee to investigate the Justice Department, with an eye on what some Republicans in Congress have characterized as corruption and political in its top ranks.
But that effort itself has divided Republicans, many of whom are allies of the FBI and are concerned that the escalation of a discrepancy over documents — fanned by Trump allies in Congress and media — could result in lasting damage to the perception of the agency as an independent arbiter of the law.
Remember that both the DOJ and FBI are supposed to be independent agencies not under the thumb of either the White House or members of Congress.  The Washington Post looks at what apparently came out of the meeting.  Here are highlights:
The meeting in Ryan’s offices took place just hours before a deadline Wednesday that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) set for the FBI and DOJ to turn over documents related to how the agencies used information in a now-famous dossier as part of an investigation into alleged ties between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials. Nunes said in a statement Wednesday night, “After speaking to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein this evening, I believe the House Intelligence Committee has reached an agreement with the Department of Justice that will provide the committee with access to all the documents and witnesses we have requested.”
 House and Senate Republicans defensive of the president have pointed to the fact that the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid for research that ended up in the dossier as reason to discredit it. Scrutiny of the dossier and the government’s reliance on it are also part of a wider GOP effort to look at whether political bias affected the FBI’s and DOJ’s conduct in a series of Obama-era investigations, including the Clinton email probe. In a letter obtained by Fox News last week, Nunes wrote to Rosenstein that the DOJ’s and FBI’s “intransigence” on those subpoenas “can no longer be tolerated,” accusing both agencies of being “disingenuous at best” with the intelligence committee about the existence of documents they had requested. Other Republicans have criticized Nunes’s past threats to issue contempt citations. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), whose panel is investigating whether allegations of bias at the FBI affected the Clinton email probe, said last month that he was “interested in getting access to the information and not the drama” when asked about Nunes’s contempt threats. Gowdy strongly suggested that Ryan was also critical of Nunes’s efforts. On Tuesday, the founders of Fusion GPS penned an op-ed in the New York Times pushing back on accusations that the dossier had prompted the DOJ’s and FBI’s scrutiny of Trump’s alleged Russia ties, and accusing Republicans in Congress of perpetuating “fake investigations” into their activities.

Nunes needs to be removed from his position on the House Intelligence Committee and needs to be under investigation himself.   As for the comments of Lindsey Graham, a/k/a the Palmetto Queen, in the piece - which I have not quoted - I think it is time that the South Carolina LGBT community gets the goods on Graham, "outs" him, and ends Trump's ability to possibly blackmail him. 

No comments: