Rep. Devin Nunes has been very busy. So busy that it is hard to follow all of his activities lately. What he is doing and why? I am going to list in order the actions that Nunes has taken to the best of my ability. Why he is doing these things is open to debate.
- March 4 – Trump tweets that Obama wiretapped his home.
- March 12 – Conway says to Bergen Record that microwaves can be used for surveillance.
- March 14 – Spicer said that Trump really didn’t mean wiretapping when he tweeted that Obama wiretapped Trump. Spicer said that Trump put quotes around wiretapping and that meant ‘just surveillance’.
- March 15 – When asked about lack of evidence on his wiretapping claim, Trump suggests that “some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks.” (How does Trump know this?)
- March 20 – Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker is told by a senior White House official to read an article in The Hill. The article suggested the possibility that Trump or his advisors were accidentally recorded during legal surveillance of other targets. Lizza is told to watch Nunes by the White House official. This unnamed official then said that the surveillance was “not just incidental, it’s systematic”.
- March 20 – In his opening statement at the House Intelligence hearing, Nunes asked, “Were the communications of officials or associates of any campaign subject to any kind of improper surveillance?” Republicans pounded away at this question and criminal leakers but Democrats kept asking questions about the Russian scandal. Later in the Hearing, FBI Director Comey confirmed that the FBI had, since July, been investigating connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was coordination. Both the FBI director and the NSA director stated categorically that there was no evidence of wiretapping by President Obama. President Trump was upset by revelations from the hearing.
- March 20 – Nunes answered a question from David Corn of MotherJones, saying that he had no knowledge of Carter Page, Roger Stone or other significant people associated with the Trump-Russia scandal. (How can that be? Nunes was part of the Trump transition team.)
- March 21 – New York Times reports that Rep. Nunes met on the White House grounds with White House officials to see dozens of classified documents. Nunes said that the names on the documents were unmasked. Later when questioned Nunes said that the names were masked, but that he could tell who they were.
- March 22 – CNN reported that the FBI had evidence that members of Donald Trump’s campaign communicated with Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of Hillary Clinton’s email in order to hurt her campaign.
- March 22 – Nunes says in a surprise press conference that he saw classified documents that showed US intelligence had accidentally collected information that included Trump’s transition team. He also said that he took the unusual action of briefing the President because President Trump was under attack from the media and Nunes felt that he had an obligation to him. (Apparently these were the intelligence documents that were discussed with Ryan Lizza. Nunes’ is employed by the people and his primary responsibility should be to find the truth, wherever it leads and to protect the US.)
- March 23 – Nunes apologized to Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee for not letting them know about the classified documents and why he told the President and the press. But he would not say why he took such actions.
- March 28 – Nunes unilaterally cancelled the open session that was to include Nancy Yates. (Was that ordered by the White House to prevent her from testifying about General Flynn?) Later he cancelled the next closed session and then he cancelled all committee meetings until further notice.
- March 28 – 30 – New York Times revealed the names of Nunes’ sources of the classified documents.
First I should say that all this activity by Nunes is just one part of the Trump administrations attempt to direct attention away from the more dangerous Trump/Russia scandal. It seems to me that all of Nunes’ actions were directed by someone in the White House in order to backup Trump’s notorious tweet about Obama ‘wiretapping’ and to direct attention away from Trump’s campaign and the investigation of the Russia scandal. Unfortunately for Trump, this only focused a light on all Trumps’ activities. The timeline of Nunes’ actions are highly suspect and are not the actions of an unbiased leader.
Much of this information was found in Mother Jones excellent article “The Long, Twisted, and Bizarre History of the Trump-Russia Scandal” March 24, 2017. It starts in 1986 where they found a very early connection of Trump to Russia. It is long but definitely worth reading in its entirety.