aside Why Is Rep. Nunes (R-CA) Acting So Erratic?

Image result for photos of devin nunesIt seems that when the US House Representative Devin Nunes held his press conferences on Wednesday (3/22/17) about having viewed intelligence data which troubled him and which seemed to him, to be unfair to the republican President Donald Trump, he forgot to mention that he had studied this material at the White House. He says that he went to the White House’s secure location to meet with his source because the computers there, make it easier to pull up sensitive data and these computers are not available in the US congressional building.

On 3/27/17 David A. Graham of The Atlantic penned the following news item,The Ever-Deepening Mystery of Devin Nunes.”

“As House Intelligence Committee chairman, Representative Devin Nunes’s job is to oversee American spycraft. But Nunes’s own actions over the last few days suggest more the cloak-and-dagger actions of a would-be John Le Carré character than those of a sober government investigator.”

Image result for photos of devin nunes“Amid accusations from Democrats on the panel that Nunes is acting as a surrogate for the Trump administration, CNN revealed Monday that Nunes was seen on the White House grounds on Tuesday, the day before he announced he had new and important information about surveillance of Trump transition team figures by the intelligence community.”

“Nunes told CNN he was there “to confirm what I already knew” and that he needed a secure location to view intelligence information, and his spokesman gave a similar statement to NBC News.  Nunes also said that no administration officials knew he was there. That claim, like many of Nunes’s statements so far, raises at least as many question as it answers.”

Image result for photos of devin nunes“CNN said Nunes had visited the National Security Council offices in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House, adding, “The official said Nunes arrived and left alone.”

“Since Wednesday’s (3/22/17) bombshell, the story has gotten only weirder. Nunes’s own claims, already difficult to pin down, have become only more enigmatic, while the focus has shifted to how exactly the California Republican obtained whatever documents he’s citing, and whether the White House was involved.””Nunes’s announcement was curious for several reasons, including the fact that by his own admission he did not yet have full information; his decision to take the partial information he possessed to the White House to brief President Trump, without informing other members of the committee first; and the fact that even as he railed against improper revealing of intelligence information, he was hastily releasing this.”Image result for photos of devin nunes“The next few days saw an escalating war of words between Nunes and committee Democrats. On Thursday, Nunes apologized to Democrats for not informing them, but later said he had would have done things the same way again. That night he told Sean Hannity he had “a duty and obligation” to brief the president “because as you know he’s taking a lot of heat in the news media,” which is at odds with his supposed role as an independent investigator. On Friday, he precipitously canceled an open committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday, infuriating Democratic ranking member Adam Schiff, who called for an independent commission to look into the Trump administration’s ties to Russia, and said he thought Nunes was acting in response to pressure from the White House.It’s the White House’s role, or lack thereof, that is now squarely in focus.Image result for photos of devin nunes“The Daily Beast’s Tim Mak reported Friday evening (3/24/17)  that Nunes was in a car with a senior staffer on Tuesday (3/21/17) when he suddenly hopped out and disappeared. Nunes staffers didn’t learn anything more before Nunes’s dramatic announcement on Wednesday. They had no idea what he planned to say until he said it. (He told reporters about his new information at the Capitol, then left for the White House, briefed the president, and then held a second presser there.)” (Note: What’s missing here is that at his 1st press interaction, he mentioned that he had just talked to the US House Speaker, Paul Ryan.)
“Nunes is legally required to visit a secure facility to view classified information. The Washington Post reported Monday (3/20/17) that “Congressional officials said that the director of National Intelligence, the FBI and National Security Agency had all indicated that they got no late-night visit from Nunes, a trip that probably would have been entered in security logs.””CNN filled in some of the missing period: Nunes apparently got into an Uber and went to the White House complex.”Image result for photos of devin nunes“But why did Nunes need to go to the White House to see the information? There are secure facilities at the Capitol. Nunes has refused to say whether his revelations came from White House officials, saying will not confirm or deny anything about his source. How does he know that no administration figures knew he was at the White House Tuesday? (Clearly, someone saw him and tipped off CNN. Who else did?) If Nunes entered and left alone, as CNN’s source said, who was there, if not an administration official?””Even if Nunes’s reasons for viewing the information on the White House grounds are entirely innocent, they were politically foolhardy. With his late-night escapades and questionable explanation for his visit, he has fed speculation that he is working in concert with the White House and attempting to help the president. The groundwork for that idea had been laid by his hasty briefing for Trump, his comments to Hannity, and his confusing cancellation of the upcoming briefing, though, as the Post reports, Nunes has long been a close ally of the president’s and was on the transition team he now says was subject to surveillance. Although Nunes said the new information does not validate Trump’s accusation—offered with no evidence—that President Obama surveilled him, the administration has claimed it as vindication.”Image result for photos of devin nunes“Some of Nunes’s allegations are already looking dubious. He has acknowledged that all of the information to which he has referred was legally collected, though he expressed concern that the names of Trump transition team members were not adequately redacted. But he has since said he cannot be sure that any transition team members were even directly caught up in surveillance, or whether they simply may have been mentioned.”

“Meanwhile, Nunes cannot or will not answer most of the questions about his information, citing classified-information rules. Like a spy-novel character in over his head, Nunes’s inability to answer pointed questions has placed him in an impossible situation.”

21 comments

  1. I read about Nunes erratic behaviour in the Guardian this morning, and my first thought was to come to your blog, because I knew I could count on you to be on top of this situation! It appears as if Nunes is either: a) having a mental breakdown, or b) acting more as a Trump surrogate than an investigator. It appears that his goal at this point is to compromise the House investigation in such a way that any information to come out of it will not be taken seriously. His statement that some of the information is ‘unfair’ to Trump says much. What is ‘fair’ to Trump is not the point … the point is to find out what happened, who was involved, and what Trump knew or did not know. We need a truly independent investigation! Thanks for this post, Gronda! I am re-blogging shortly! Hugs!

    • Dear Jill,

      He looks conflicted where he feels uncomfortable. But still, he has been willing to compromise his integrity to help the White House and the president but he is bungling it. He is not up to the standards of deceit like a Paul Manafort, a Roger Stone, etc.

      Frankly, he did not execute well whatever play was planned and as a consequence, he has done more harm than good.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Agreed … next to Manafort, Bannon, Stone, et al, he is a lightweight. But I question his goals and loyalties. He has given the appearance of compromising this entire investigation, whether that is the reality or not. What next??? Hugs!

        • Dear Jill,

          I say that resisters should use these set of facts to push / demand an independent commission. As a matter of fact that is our marching orders for this week, which is to contact legislators on this issue.

          The problem with showing Rep Nunes the door, the Speaker Paul Ryan’s replacement pick could be worse.

          Hugs, Gronda

        • Good idea! I shall get right on those marching orders! And yes, Ryan is not the worst we could have. He’s a boot-licker, but still … I think he at least has a functional brain and he isn’t an OCD right-winger. Hugs!

  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Rep. Devin Nunes, one of the people in charge of the House investigation into the connections between Trump’s campaign staff and the Russian government, has been acting in an extremely erratic manner and seems to be intent on compromising the investigation. Fellow-blogger Gronda has been following this situation and wrote this post, summarizing Nunes strange behaviour. I hope you will take a minute to read it … this investigation is extremely important, and it appears that Nunes is not up to the challenge of putting his dedication to Trump aside in order to keep an open mind to the information he is receiving. Thank you, Gronda, for your hard work on this excellent post!

  3. The more we dig, the more digging that is necessary! IMO, Mr. Nunes is up to his ears in the Russian swamp, and he is grasping at straws in an effort to craw out of the mess he has gotten into! It would be a pretty good bet that both he and King tRump as amongst the parties caught in the surveillance discussing with the Russian agents how to control the electoral process in the tRumps favor.. With it becoming more obvious as the days go on that we have had two of our three branches of government corrupted by a foreign power, all that is left is to hear that the Judicial branch has been breeched as well. Can it be that our nation could/will be brought down and virtually destroyed by a foreign power without a single shot being fired? Only time will tell!

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      Rumors are all over the place. The one that is the most speculated about but not confirmed is that Gen Flynn has been turned as a witness v DT; and another one is that Rep Nunes was with Gen Flynn in a meeting where General Flynn was talking about a kidnapping that he wanted to execute.

      Like you said, time will tell.

      Ciao, Gronda

  4. Not really conducive to winning over the large number of folk who did not vote for The President. You would have thought that would be the main strategy at the start of a presidential term.
    I would have also expected professionals to have cut ties with the Russians once it appeared their campaign was gathering momentum.

    • Dear Woebegone but Hopeful,

      Your thinking shows reasonableness which is in short supply at the White House. If our US president is beholden to Russia for past favors or whatever else is out there, it will not be a simple matter to cut ties.

      Right now, most of us do not know what to expect next but we will find out, soon enough.

      Ciao, Gronda

      • Thank you Gronda.
        As an outsider I could put up with a slick and professional outfit who delivered something in a way that was acceptable (with grumbles) to the majority of the population (who could still grumble and have their say in the mid-terms).
        It’s this publically available shambles which offends my sense of how governments should function professionally. (I’m a sort of UK hard-left centralised government type- not very liberal really).
        I can understand many of the right of centre strands of thinking while not agreeing with them.
        But this, it looks and sounds like a circus and cannot be good for the nation and more importantly the confidence of the people overall.
        Take care of yourself and yours
        Roger

        • Dear Roger,

          What you are witnessing is the republican party members who are in the majority of the US governing body and who are enabling and covering up for our president so that they have time to enact their legislation wish list.

          They are placing their own interests over the US national security interests. It is incumbent on “we the people” to remind these folks who they work for, the taxpayers.

          This is how we stopped their attempts to get rid of Obamacare, our health care insurance for those who do not have this via their employers.

          Ciao, Gronda

        • “The will of the People”
          It would seem the adage ‘Democracy Is A Poor Form of Government, but all the alternatives are so much worse’ will still have its day….
          From an outsider looking in. Maybe the Healthcare issue will morph into a collection of different schemes in different regions, the US being so large- not a perfect solution by any means but perhaps the most workable, at least in the short term? (Just a thought on breaking up the log jam of the powerful vested lobbies)
          Best wishes
          Roger

    • Dear Kim,

      Under the current circumstances, it would be best to demand an independent Commission or something equivalent. At the very least, Rep. Nunes should recuse himself.

      Hugs, Gronda

    • Dear Roger,

      That would be the sensible thing to do. But I am not counting on the US House republicans to do what is right. But 66% of peoples want an independent investigation.

      Ciao, Gronda

  5. Off topic, sort of! If you remember during the campaign that Ivanka Trump took a vacation in Russia, and the rumors that it was with a girl friend of Putin’s? That part was proven to not be factual and the media dropped the subject, however for some reason the visit that Ivanka and Wendi Deng Murdoch made to Roman Abramovich aboard his yacht was ignored. Fast forward to the Keystone Pipeline and Russian steel being used and guess who owns the company supplying that steel? Once more we see a pattern of Russian involvement with the King tRump. For the record Roman Abramovich and Putin are close friends.

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      This is why we need access to DT’s IRS Tax returns going all the way back to 2005. I am certain that many of DT’s policy decisions are based on his financial interests over the US national security interests.

      Ciao, Gronda

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