With his recent bizarre behaviour Devin Nunes, #The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is putting at risk his committee’s investigations into the allegations of collusion of members of the Trump team with Russian agents during the presidential campaign and the transition period.
Nunes announcement last week that he had briefed President Donald Trump that he may have been “accidentally” monitored during surveillance activities surprised many, most of all his own Committee..
This action angered the Democrat members of the Committee including Deputy Chairman Adam Schiff who Nunes refused to advise of the sources of his information. Since Nunes was a member of the Trump transition team his behaviour puts at risks the impartiality of the Committee’s investigation.
Adding fuel to the fire was the decision by Nunes to cancel a sitting of the Committee when former acting Attorney General Sally Yates was due to testify. She had been fired by the Trump Administration for refusing to defend the Moslem ban that was blocked by the courts but three weeks previously she had advised the White House of the contacts between National Security Advisor Michael Flynn with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s Ambassador to Washington. This would then be the cause of Flynn’s resignation from the Administration.
In a show of bipartisan collaboration yesterday the Senate Intelligence Committee declared that it would follow the investigations to wherever the allegations may lead.
Committee Chairman Republican Senator Richard Burr and Deputy Chairman Democrat Mark Warner told reporters that it was their duty to properly carry out their duties on these matters in an independent and transparent manner.
Yet #Devin Nunes refuses to recuse himself from his role on the House Committee thus putting at risk the independence and transparency that his Senate counterparts had defended in their activities.
The stakes at play are not the reputations of single politicians but the legitimacy of the 2016 presidential election and therefore the reputation of the country as a whole.
Without predicting the outcome of the investigations by the Senate and the House committees or by the intelligence community, the results of these investigations will have worldwide effects for the country. In fact, such were the worries of America’s allies the intelligence service of Great Britain and the Netherlands had both warned the Obama Administration of the activities of Russian agents in the United States..
Devin Nunes’ behaviour does nothing to dispel the worries of many citizens regarding the possibility that Russia interfered in the recent election campaign in favour of the winning candidate Donald Trump.
It can only be hoped that members of the GOP can persuade Nunes that his behaviour does not reflect well on their activities and that the country deserves full and complete answers to the questions raised by the allegations. These answers can only come from proper investigation and not by behaviour that may put in doubt the legitimacy of the House Intelligence Committee’s activities.
The only way for this to happen is for Nunes to recuse himself. The ball is now in his court.