When you read the following op-ed piece by the republican Joe Walsh, a former colleague of Rep. Devin Nunes, you can’t help but wonder about what the US House Speaker Paul Ryan was thinking when he placed a republican hyper-partisan as the chair of the House’s Intel Committee. Rep. Devin Nunes is in a safe seat from a very conservative district in California. He will be lauded by the right to where he will be declared their hero. However, Speaker Ryan of Wisconsin is facing stiff competition from the Democratic candidate Randy Bryce.
The US House Intelligence Committee is supposed to be one of the last bastions of non-partisanship and/ or bipartisanship in the US Congress. It was set up to assist the lawmakers in the performance of their oversight duties, where the intelligence community had agreed to share intelligence data, in return of securing these committee members promise not leak or share any classified material that they view with those outside of the committee.
Instead, because of the House Speaker Ryan’s inappropriate appointment, republican members led by their Chairman Devin Nunes have turned a committee which had been one of the last bastions of non-partisanship into a partisan arm of the presidency. His committee was supposed to be conducting an independent investigation about Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
How can they explain away their voting to publicly release a memo involving the collection from classified material, without having it vetted/ de-classified by at least by the Justice Department’s Inspector General who already had been conducting a year long investigation of possible FBI wrong doing.? They are doing this in the face of the US Department of Justice and FBI officials having publicly asked them not to do this. The FBI has released the following 1/31/18 statement, “As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”
On February 2, 2018, the republican President Donald Trump has authorized the release of the memo without any redactions. It has been passed over to the US House Intelligence Committee to take the final steps to release it into the public domain which they have done. See the transcript #1: Transcript: House Intelligence Committee Meeting Regarding the Memo /Lawfare .. Transcript #2 Full transcript of the GOP House memo by Devin Nunes — Quartz
Here’s the rest of the story…
On February 2,2018, Joe Walsh of the Washington Post penned the following report, “Devin Nunes is acting like a partisan hack. That’s how I remember him.” (“My former colleague doesn’t seem to grasp what his job in Congress is.”)
I served in Congress with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). Based on my experience working with him, nothing about the way he’s behaving now as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence — overseeing part of the so-called Russia-Trump investigation — is particularly shocking.
The Nunes I knew was a purely partisan animal. When it comes to exercising good judgment and discharging his duties in service of the Constitution, he’s just not up to the task.
“He saw everything through a Republican vs. Democrat lens. In weekly conference meetings for Republican House members, Nunes was always one of then-Speaker John A. Boehner’s or Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s go-to lieutenants, willing to tout the party line and make sure the rest of us lined up like obedient boys and girls. During my brief tenure, I was one of the outspoken tea party members, regularly at odds with leadership when it came to budget or government-funding legislation. I still vividly recall Nunes lambasting us as obstinate obstructionists on many occasions, trying to bend us to leadership’s will on votes that went against our principles. With Nunes, I found it was all about politics, almost never about policy.”
“At one meeting, we were fighting over passing some budget resolution, and leadership had Nunes go to the mic, where he said something like: You tea party extremists are the problem. You’re making the Republican Party look dysfunctional. If you keep this up, Romney is going to lose in 2012. Well, Mitt Romney lost. The GOP looks dysfunctional now. And either way, I didn’t go to D.C. to get Romney, or anyone else, elected. I went to stop D.C. from bankrupting the country.”
“So it doesn’t surprise me to see Nunes today, acting more like the chairman of the president’s reelection campaign than chairman of the Intelligence Committee. He wants to please whomever he sees as the person or people running the show. Back then, it was House GOP leadership. Now it’s President Trump. And it’s pretty clear Nunes has decided his job is to protect Trump no matter what collateral damage results. How else do you explain his careless and dangerous rush to release his already infamous “memo”?”
“The FBI and Trump’s Justice Department have practically begged Nunes, and Trump, not to release it. Urging his fellow Republicans not to release the memo, Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.) said, “We can’t let the politics of the moment cloud our judgment.”
But it’s not Nunes’s style to care.”
“Instead, he’s doubling down on the farce that he started when he tried to steer the Russia investigation in the direction of documents the White House fed him that were meant to put the blame on Obama’s national security adviser, Susan E. Rice. But that’s not his job. He’s supposed to be sorting out a high-stakes national security crisis, not scoring political points. I’m a Trump supporter, and I’m definitely no fan of Rice, but if Nunes can’t keep his eye on the ball, he shouldn’t be running any part of the investigation, and he shouldn’t be chairman.”
“The congressional intelligence committees traditionally function as some of the least partisan committees — as they should. Oversight for security threats to this country is too great a responsibility to let committee business devolve into finger-pointing and score-settling along party lines, but that’s exactly where the level of discourse has gone under Nunes’s “leadership.” He’s not searching for truth, he’s running interference for the White House, abdicating his role as a member of a coequal branch of government, dragging his fellow committee members down with him and exposing House leadership as ineffectual and foolish.”
“As a former congressman — but more important, as a citizen — that’s not what I want. I want transparency because I believe that we need to get to the end of the Russia investigation and let Trump get back to being Trump on behalf of the American people. Whatever is happening now isn’t that.”
“If Nunes’s investigation and memo are about transparency, if he and the president have confidence in their case, then the committee should release the memo, with Nunes’s version of events — and the Democrats’ memo, with their version — at the same time. To the extent they can do this without disclosing classified sources and methods, they should release the underlying intelligence both memos are based on. Hell, at this point, they should release the FISA warrant the memo apparently alludes to. If they don’t, Nunes and anyone who backs him should be ashamed.”
“Some issues have to be partisan. Here, Nunes is at risk of turning what should be a nonpartisan issue — a foreign government trying to interfere in our election — into a game.”