Quantcast
Connect with us

A major problem for Donald Trump: Devin Nunes can no longer play defense for the president

Published

on

- Commentary

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., may have been reelected on Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean his career didn’t take a major hit.

This article was originally published at Salon

Nunes managed to comfortably defeat Democratic challenger Andrew Janz in the latter’s bid to oust him from his seat in California’s 22nd congressional district. Nunes has enormous built-in advantages going into the race, including the fact that his district already leans Republican, that he is an eight-term incumbent and that he received more than $1 million from corporate donors. Even though Janz attempted to offset these disadvantages by focusing on Nunes’ water policies (the district is heavily agricultural and Nunes has been criticized for his pro-corporate outlook), that wasn’t enough to stop Nunes from rolling up an easy victory.

ADVERTISEMENT

But not all of the news on Tuesday night was good for Nunes.

Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives, so Nunes will lose his chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee, and with it his ability to protect President Donald Trump.

This is not inconsequential for Nunes. The California congressman rose from obscurity during the first two years of Trump’s term by repeatedly carrying the president’s water, even when that meant undermining his credibility as an ostensibly impartial overseer of the Trump-Russia investigation.

In April 2017 he publicly discussed classified foreign surveillance reports that he had viewed on the White House’s grounds in order to claim that members of Trump’s campaign had been wrongly unmasked by members of President Barack Obama’s administration, a false charge seemingly motivated by a desire to validate Trump’s equally false story about Trump Tower having been wiretapped. It was later revealed that Trump had told the intelligence community he was “going to mobilize to find something to justify the president’s tweet that he was being surveilled,” and that Nunes’ actions had occurred shortly thereafter.

ADVERTISEMENT

That same month, Nunes was secretly recorded telling a Republican Party dinner that “the Democrats don’t want an investigation on Russia. They want an independent commission. Why do they want an independent commission? Because they want to continue the narrative that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump are best friends, and that’s the reason that he won, because Hillary Clinton would have never lost on her own; it had to be someone else’s fault.”

In 2018, Nunes has been criticized for pushing online for a #releasethememo movement, one that he claimed would declassify a memorandum that undermined the Steele dossier and with it the entire Trump-Russia investigation (the memo that was eventually released did no such thing). He has also threatened to hold Justice Department officials like Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt for not disclosing sensitive information about the Trump-Russia investigation, even though officials have explained that doing so would “risk severe consequences, including potential loss of human lives, damage to relationships with valued international partners, compromise of ongoing criminal investigations, and interference with intelligence activities.”

In other words, Trump has needed Nunes in his role as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee in order to make sure that a body which is supposed to place a check on his power and investigate him if necessary would instead do his bidding. With Nunes out of that position, Trump will face a House Intelligence Committee that might actually do its job.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Billionaire Trump-loving governor took $125,000 in bailouts meant for struggling farmers: report

Published

on

On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) received $125,000 in emergency stabilization payments for his farms, as part of the bailout program authorized by President Donald Trump to help farmers avoid losses due to the trade war with China.

Justice, a Trump-loving business magnate who briefly switched to the Democratic Party to run for governor of West Virginia and switched back to the GOP after the election, hardly fits the profile of a struggling farmer. He is worth $1.5 billion, and owns over 50 businesses, including a network of coal mines and the Greenbriar luxury resort, a popular gathering place for Republican officials.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Here’s why Sondland’s testimony is devastating to Trump — whether he wants it to be or not

Published

on

Veteran Newsweek reporter Kurt Eichenwald outlined in a thread that EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland delivered testimony to the House that was devastating for President Donald Trump whether Sondland wanted it to be or not.

"While wrapped in diplomatic-speak and hemming-and-hawing, the statement of Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to European Union, is devastating to Trump and Giuliani," Eichenwald said. "Given the surrounding evidence, either Giuliani has to say he lied to Sondland, or Trump has to be impeached it is important to dig through it, because, while quite clear on most dates, it takes jumping a bit around in the statement to figure out the date of the key event."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump’s EU ambassador is using the ‘Don Jr. defense’ of being too dumb to break the law: national security expert

Published

on

Gordon Sondland, the man whom President Donald Trump appointed to be his ambassador to the European Union, told congressional investigators on Thursday that he didn't understand that President Donald Trump might be holding up establishing direct contact with Ukraine's government unless the government agreed to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

However, given that the president did ask him to run all Ukraine policy through attorney Rudy Giuliani, and given that Giuliani was already publicly boasting about trying to get Ukraine to probe Biden, Sondland's testimony raises the question of what he actually believed the president's intentions were in withholding aid to the country this past summer.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image