The ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee says chairman Rep. Davin Nunes (R-CA) is lying in his memo that he is pushing for public release and threatens the security of the country.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member, says Nunes changed wording the memo to make it even more inaccurate.
He’s not alone in wondering what Nunes is doing.
In the Intelligence Committee chairman’s home district, his newspaper expresses open exasperation with Nunes antics.
“What, pray tell, does Rep. Devin Nunes think he’s doing by waving around a secret memo attacking the FBI, the nation’s premier law enforcement agency?” The Fresno Bee reports on its editorial page. “He certainly isn’t representing his Central Valley constituents or Californians, who care much more about health care, jobs and, yes, protecting Dreamers than about the latest conspiracy theory.”
Nunes buys into many of the conspiracy theories of president Donald Trump. He talks about “dark states” and claims the Democrats control the FBI, which is interesting since the director and deputy director of the agency are Trump appointees.
Last year, the House Ethics Committee investigated Nunes’ habit of disclosing classified information for political purposes but the probe, controlled by the Republican party, never actually obtained or reviewed the classified information that was central to the investigation.
Nunes claimed the committee cleared him. In reality, it didn’t look that hard.
In a rare public rebuke of the memo, Nunes and Trump, the FBI expressed “grave concerns” about the accuracy of the memo. Schiff says the memo could cause a “constitutional crises’ because of its inaccuracies and risk of exposing investigations by the agency.
Says Schiff in an op ed column for The Washington Post:
This decision to employ an obscure rule to order the release of classified information for partisan political purposes crossed a dangerous line. Doing so without even allowing the Justice Department or the FBI to vet the information for accuracy, the impact of its release on sources and methods, and other concerns was, as the Justice Department attested, “extraordinarily reckless.” But it also increases the risk of a constitutional crisis by setting the stage for subsequent actions by the White House to fire Mueller or, as now seems more likely, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, an act that would echo the 1973 Saturday Night Massacre.
As multiple investigations work to unearth the full truth, the president has lashed out with Nixonian ferocity at the Justice Department, the FBI, congressional investigators and the media.
However, unlike President Richard Nixon, who waged his Watergate fight without the same kind of vocal allies, Trump not only has an entire media ecosystem dedicated to shielding him from accountability but also senior Republicans on the Hill who have cast aside their duty to uphold the law and perform oversight in favor of protecting the Trump presidency — no matter the cost. Nunes may have wielded the committee gavel here, but the ultimate responsibility lies with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who lacked the courage to stop him.
Even stalwart Republican Ed Rogers, who looks for any excuse to forgive most of the antics of his party, is unhappy with Nunes, saying:
Monday’s vote to release a classified House Intelligence Committee memo was another needless mistake perpetuated by Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). Nunes has turned the Russia investigations, which were already based on a flawed premise, into a media exercise that plays mostly into the hands of Democrats and their allies in the media. His inability to think strategically and keep the investigation in an honest place only serves to prolong the investigations.
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