President Trump’s favorite errand boy Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is being fingered for an inappropriate and almost certainly illegal leak of classified information that again shows his despicable character and untrustworthiness.
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Nunes, who chairs the House Russia/Trump investigation and the House Intelligence Committee, was given top secret information about the Senate’s Russia/Trump probe which he improperly leaked to Fox News in a dirty trick designed to smear Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) by giving the false impression he had undisclosed contacts with the author of the notorious Steele dossier on Trump’s Russia ties.
The New York Times reported today that the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is headed by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Warner “has concluded that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee were behind the leak of private text messages between the Senate panel’s top Democrat and a Russian-connected lawyer, according to two congressional officials.”
Fox News published the text messages in early February and made it appear that this was done improperly by Warner, who it suggested was trying to hold secret talks with the former British spy behind the dossier about Trump and his associations in Russia.
The president immediately jumped on Warner with one of his uninformed tweets:
Wow! -Senator Mark Warner got caught having extensive contact with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch. Warner did not want a “paper trail” on a “private” meeting (in London) he requested with Steele of fraudulent Dossier fame. All tied into Crooked Hillary.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2018
In reality, the Senate committee had been trying for weeks to get Christopher Steele to testify but had great difficulty contacting him. Warner was reaching out to Adam Waldman, a Washington lawyer, to make contact on behalf of the committee, with the knowledge and cooperation of Sen. Burr.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida came to the defense of Warner and the committee in a tweet:
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 9, 2018
Warner and Burr were so upset with the leak that they demanded a rare meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan last month to tell him about what had been done by the House committee and Nunes.
“They used this meeting with Mr. Ryan,” reports The New York Times, “to raise broader concerns about the direction of the House Intelligence Committee under” Nunes.
The Times calls the Senate Committee “the last bipartisan investigation on Capitol Hill into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election,” and calls the leak “a serious breach of protocol and a partisan attack by one intelligence committee against the other.”
The leak came only days after Nunes and the Republicans on the House committee released their memo revealing classified information in an effort to claim the entire Russia investigation was started because of the Steele dossier and under false pretenses, despite protests by the FBI and Justice Department.
Nunes memo has since been discredited, because its key claim that the FISA judge who granted permission for a wiretap did not know the source of key information was Steele, when in fact it was disclosed to the judges in a footnote in the request.
This paints a picture of the difference between the House and Senate investigations, points out the New York Times.
The House committees Republicans and Democrats have been “consumed by partisan sniping,” reports the Times, “while the pace of witness interviews has slowed to a crawl.”
“Democrats have repeatedly accused Mr. Nunes of using his position to protect Mr. Trump from the investigation,” added The Times, “
The Senate committee has conducted its investigation in private with a high level of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans, and complete secrecy about sensitive information.
What this shows is that Nunes is not only incompetent but also can’t be trusted. Once again he has violated his sacred oath to the Congress, to the Committee, and to his constituents by leaking information that is false for the purpose of hurting Democrats and protecting his friend Donald Trump.
And once again he has been caught doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason but gets no punishment for his misdeeds.
We have to hope that in November the voters in his California district will provide that punishment by voting the lying, untrustworthy, immoral, unethical Congressman out of office forever.