The madcap tale of House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes — who entered the public eye a week ago with Trump surveillance claims and prompted widespread confusion — continues unabated. While feeling the heat from his Democratic colleagues and some Republicans (who are demanding his recusal from the investigation into Russia-Trump ties), Nunes scrapped this week’s House Intel meetings, and what now? Nunes has tried to blame Democrats, who he says “aren’t really serious” about investigating Russian ties.
For the past week, Nunes has performed a number of evasive maneuvers, which have earned criticism from his Democratic House Intel Committee counterpart, Adam Schiff, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The blowback has ruffled Nunes but hasn’t changed his operating style — he flat-out stated on Tuesday night that he “will never reveal” his sources for the surveillance claim. And Nunes — who was on Trump’s transition team — is now questioning Democrats’ commitment to the Russia investigation:
“We’re beginning to figure out who’s actually serious about the investigation. Because it appears like the Democrats aren’t really serious about this investigation. I mean, we always want to keep the committee bipartisan. But at the end of the day, we’re going to do an investigation with or without them, and if they want to participate, that’s fine, but the facts of the matter are pretty clear.”
Nunes doesn’t seem to realize that Dems might not feel comfy working underneath someone who (seriously) might be working for the White House, but he continues:
“I would say they need to give us their witness list because we have no idea who they even want to interview. As far as I know, they’ve done very little to even look through the documents here that the intelligence [agencies] have provided. So, at the end of the day here, we’re going to get some truth, we’re going to find out who’s actually doing a real investigation.”
A Democratic House Intelligence aide delivered a rebuttal to NBC News
“The Republicans cancelled our public hearing with Sally Yates, John Brennan, and James Clapper unilaterally without informing us that they planned [to] invite Director Comey and Rogers to come back in those two same hours. We welcome the Directors coming back anytime and they come often, but not in lieu of a public hearing that both Democrats and Republicans had previously agreed to. We’ve made an offer to the Chairman to schedule both next week, and we’ve yet to hear back.”
Nunes initially dropped claims of “incidental surveillance” (which was, by all appearances, conducted legally) of Team Trump by U.S. intelligence and made a suspicious White House visit the day prior. The Dems aren’t thrilled with how they were kept in the dark, and Nunes is still behaving in shady ways, but you’d better believe the Dems are serious about this investigation.