Donald Trump just lost another minion.
GOP Rep. Devin Nunes has been in Trump’s pocket since the election in November. He was part of Trump’s transition team, and as chair of the House Intelligence Committee, he has been desperately trying to help Trump get out from under his Russia scandal.
To that end, Nunes went to the White House in secret to inform Trump on the investigation. While there, he was fed a new line of attack to use in a pathetic effort to somehow prove that Trump was right about President Obama wiretapping him.
Nunes failed to tell his colleagues on the intelligence committee and hastily set up a press conference. Nunes was later forced to admit that his “proof” was not proof at all.
Complaints have been flowing to the Office of Congressional Ethics ever since, and Nunes has been repeatedly called upon to recuse himself from the ever-deepening Russia scandal investigation. Now the House Ethics Committee is starting an investigation of Nunes. So Nunes is stepping aside and handing the investigation over to other Republicans on the intelligence committee.
Of course, Nunes channeled Trump by blaming the charges on everyone but himself.
“Several left-wing activists have filed complaints against me with the Office of Congressional Ethics,” Nunes said in a statement. “The charges are entirely false and politically motivated, and are being leveled just as the American people are beginning to learn the truth about the improper unmasking of the identities of U.S. citizens and other abuses of power.”
As noted above, the House Ethics Committee is now involved and that’s bad news for Nunes and Trump.
The committee is comprised of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, which means Republicans can’t just intervene to save Nunes. The committee can subpoena him and force him to testify under oath.
Lying to the committee would constitute perjury and demonstrate that Nunes is working for Trump instead of doing his job.
Nunes will have to explain why he wen’t to the White House in secret late at night to discuss the investigation, and why he released classified information to the public without discussing the information with his colleagues first.
As it turns out, the information Nunes received from Trump is the fact that some Trump officials were caught on surveillance of foreign agents. Nunes and Trump want us all to believe that the information vindicates Trump’s accusation against President Obama.
Except that the surveillance did not target Trump and his team at all — it targeted the foreign agents they just happened to be meeting with. And Trump clearly accused President Obama of wiretapping him specifically.
Clearly, Nunes and Trump are working together to help him wriggle his way out of answering for the Russia scandal that has only become more explosive and damning. Now we just have to wait and see if Trey Gowdy investigates Trump’s Russia scandal with the same doggedness he displayed during his investigation of Benghazi. Because if not, it’s proof that Republicans are incapable of policing themselves.
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