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Monday, July 16, 2018

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

The GOP House Intel chairman wants unlimited transparency for his FBI conspiracy theories, but not for himself.

California Republican Devin Nunes, the House Intelligence Committee chairman, has been aggressively abusing his office to protect Donald Trump from the Russia investigation — which House Speaker Paul Ryan has happily let him do, despite Nunes’ initial recusal from the probe.

His latest tactic is to release a memo, ostensibly based on classified info, indicating widespread abuse of surveillance law at the FBI to bring down the Trump campaign. The memo is a lie-ridden conspiracy theory, but neither the public nor journalists are equipped to judge its contents, because Nunes blocked the release of a Democratic memo refuting it.

Nunes and his allies at the White House claim all of this is in the interest of transparency. But that rings hollow, given how shockingly secretive Nunes himself has proven in his own conduct.

According to NBC reporter Alex Moe, Nunes refused to speak with reporters when they asked him about the committee voting to release the memo. “You have to talk to the Democrats,” he said simply. “They talk to you, I don’t.”

Incidentally, Nunes’ opponent, local Fresno prosecutor Andrew Janz, has pledged to hold regular town halls with his constituents if elected. And the local paper in his district, the Fresno Bee, has hammered Nunes over his two-faced method of “transparency,” calling him “Trump’s stooge.”

If Nunes truly wants to be a crusader for “transparency,” he cannot only care about it when it is politically convenient for himself and his party.

Accessibility is a part of being an accountable lawmaker — something in which Nunes appears wholly uninterested.

Matthew Chapman is a video game designer and science fiction author from Texas. Can be found on Twitter @fawfulfan.