Surprise! Devin Nunes Shit The Bed Again

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Although their report was released this week, it's already a distant memory that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee unilaterally closed the investigation of Russia interference in the 2016 election and declared that there's no evidence the Trump campaign conspired with Moscow.

One major reason why the report has already been forgotten is because the report didn't merely attempt to clear Trump's name, it also smeared the intelligence community by disagreeing with their assessment that Russia conspired to interfere in the election on behalf of Trump.

Politico now reports that the latter assessment wasn't even suppose to be included in Monday's release and some House Republicans including Speaker Ryan aren't happy about it.

The muddled messaging was the subject of a closed-door meeting of committee Republicans on Wednesday. According to three sources briefed on the discussion, a frustrated Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) raised pointed concerns about why critiquing intelligence agencies was even mentioned at Monday’s rollout. The finding, after all, won't be included in the committee's official Russia report — it will be the subject of a second report issued later in the spring. But the decision to link it to the committee’s Russia findings scrambled the release.

Speaker Paul Ryan’s office also felt compelled to intervene as Republicans offered increasingly scattershot responses in interviews, with some more eager to criticize the agencies than others.

Ryan’s aides convened a meeting with members of the Intelligence Committee's communications staff on Tuesday, according to two sources familiar with the gathering.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) recused himself from the investigation last spring but, as you know, he un-recused himself in December and things have never been the same since then.

I don't believe House Republicans would or could have produced a truly bipartisan, comprehensive report even if Devin Nunes were not the chairman -- even if he weren't on the committee at all -- but his presence covers the entire committee with an impenetrable cloak of bad faith.

The House Republican report can't and hasn't been taken seriously because there wasn't even a pretense that it was a bipartisan effort. Democrats on the committee weren't even aware that a report would be released until after it happened and everyone knows Devin Nunes is a lying hack.

  • muselet

    Publicly bashing the intelligence community is stupid. Publicly bashing the intelligence community for its “high confidence” finding that Russia favored Donald Trump in 2016 is stepping-on-a-very-large-rake stupid.

    [The House Intelligence Committee’s lead Russia investigator Mike] Conaway said an exhaustive review by the panel found that the agencies failed to apply proper “tradecraft” to their decision.

    “There are standards that CIA analysts, and other intelligence analysts, hold themselves to,” Conaway said. “Ninety-eight percent of the tradecraft was just fine, but we believe that on this one narrow piece of the [agencies’ findings], the standards were not upheld.”

    Hoo, lordy. Even Trey Gowdy, styled “the lop-headed Javert of Behghazi” by Charlie Pierce, disagrees with Conaway.

    Conaway has emphasized since Monday that the committee has made no determination about whether the intelligence community was right or wrong in its assessment, only that the underlying evidence failed to back up its conclusion.

    Uh-huh. Pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

    Conaway has also made clear he believes Russia did attempt to hurt Clinton’s chances — and he says it’s a judgment call whether that means they also wanted Trump to win.

    Does Conaway think Russia wanted Darrell Castle to win? Evan McMullin? If so, why didn’t Russia task at least a few of its bots with boosting those candidates and not Donald Trump?

    Our glorious news media should be all over this story like a hungry dog on a steak. I’m not holding my breath until that happens.


    • Scopedog

      All of this. But hey, it’s giving H.A. Goodman a stiffy, because he’s so convinced that the guilty party will be indicted soon–Hillary Clinton.

      • muselet

        I really don’t need to know about the state of HA Goodman’s … erm … gentleman’s area, thank you.


  • Badgerite

    I make no judgments about its credibility but I have heard that the GOP House report on trump/Russia does make very fine toilet paper. It can be used for that at least.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Nope. The report’s too slimy for that use.

  • Aynwrong


  • mnpollio

    If Lyin’ Ryan wanted to be taken seriously at all, he would banish Nunes to political Siberia at this point to try to go through the motions of at least minor credibility, but that will not happen because Nunes is a personal favorite ass-kisser to the Dark Lord Trump, and Ryan will never cross him. If Nunes after the spectacle of incompetence and base toadying that he has unloaded on the public gets re-elected, then his constituents are equally as crass and hopeless as he is and equally culpable for offering cover to a treasonous Trump.