Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
With President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen spilling the beans on Trump’s participation in his team’s illicit negotiations with the Russians in a plea agreement with special counsel Robert Mueller, the allegations of collusion are looking more serious by the day. And one person who does not come off looking good amid the whole affair is outgoing House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), who will cease to lead the committee next year as Democrats assume the House majority.
Nunes, a close ally of Trump, has gone to great lengths to twist his committee’s investigative power away from Trump’s ties to Russia and onto the supposed misconduct of federal investigators who were looking into Trump’s ties to Russia, from writing a shoddy, partisan memo that alleged the FBI improperly obtained FISA warrants against the Trump campaign, to traveling to London to try to get British intelligence officials to discredit ex-MI6 spy Christopher Steele’s dossier on Trump.
And the worst part of it all, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) told Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” on Thursday, is that Nunes was sitting on real evidence of wrongdoing by Trump and his family, could have pursued the matter, and did not.
“We believe, buried in the basement of the Capitol, at the House Intelligence Committee, are pages of lies from a number of witnesses particularly in the Trump family, Trump campaign, the Trump business, that Devin Nunes has protected every time that [ranking member] Adam Schiff and my Democratic colleagues have sought to turn them over to Mueller,” said Swalwell.
“So, has anyone other than Don Jr. and the Trump family testified before the House Intel Committee?” asked Wallace.
“Yes, dozens,” said Swalwell. “Most folks involved with the campaign, the business, and in the family have testified, and we’ve seen multiple contradictions. And we tried to test their stories, that’s what you do in an investigation, you want to corroborate or contradict by bringing in outside evidence. Cell phone records, bank records, travel logs. And every time we tried to do that, to make sure we’re not just taking them at their word, we were blocked. And we thought the best way to at least test their stories would be to send it to Mueller, and we were blocked from doing that as well.”
“We believe, buried in the basement of the Capitol, at the House Intel Committee, are pages of lies from a number of witnesses particularly in the Trump family, Trump campaign, Trump business that Devin Nunes has protected…”- @RepSwalwell w/ @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/6zl2VoO92X
— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) November 29, 2018
Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter @fawfulfan.