'Embarrassing': Devin Nunes' home paper rips him to shreds for 'ridiculous' anti-FBI conspiracies
Rep. Devin Nunes speaks to a crowd at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. Image via CSIS/Creative Commons.

Fresno, CA’s daily newspaper the Fresno Bee on Friday ripped into House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) for “doing the dirty work” on behalf of Donald Trump’s White House.

In a scathing editorial, the Fresno Bee charged Nunes with failing to represent his constituents in California by “waving around a secret memo attacking the FBI” instead of focusing on “health care, jobs” and Dreamers.

“Instead, he’s doing dirty work for House Republican leaders trying to protect President Donald Trump in the Russia investigation,” the Fresno Bee wrote.

The editorial noted the timing of Nunes’ secret memo, which coincided with reports special counsel Robert Mueller is honing in on possible obstruction of justice by the president, having interviewed former FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Session last week.

“Nunes of Tulare is sheltered in a relatively safe Republican district, and may believe he will pay no political price for unfairly attacking law enforcement and protecting Trump,” the Fresno Bee wrote. “But his performance as chairman of the highly sensitive House Intelligence Committee has been nothing short of embarrassing.”

The Fresno Bee pointed to Nunes’ efforts last year to focus the attention on what he claimed was inappropriate “unmasking” by former President Barack Obama—a distraction technique designed to provide cover to Trump’s unfounded claim his predecessor “wire tapped” Trump Tower.

“The blowback forced Nunes to step away from the Russia investigation,” the Fresno Bee continued. “But he never fully recused himself and after the Republican-controlled House Ethics Committee in December cleared him of disclosing classified information, he raised his profile again.”

Turning to the memo that Nunes and several of his Republican colleagues have spent the past week hyping, the Fresno Bee noted the document—drafted by Nunes staffers—“apparently summarizes classified material and alleges abuse of the surveillance process by the FBI and Justice Department to target the Trump campaign.”

“There are reasons to be very skeptical of this memo,” the Fresno Bee explained. “The FBI hasn’t been sent a copy or given a chance to respond. Democrats who have seen it, including Rep. Adam Schiff of Burbank, say it’s full of inaccuracies and innuendo.”

The editorial board called it “supremely ironic” for the Republican Party—“which long has proclaimed itself the party of law and order—to undermine public trust in agents who risk their lives, combat organized crime, ferret out public corruption and protect us against terrorism.”

“Now we’re supposed to believe some Republicans that there’s some kind of anti-Trump 'secret society'; within the FBI?” the Fresno Bee asked. “It’s ridiculous.”

Read the full editorial at the Fresno Bee.