Maybe this was the whole point of GOP Rep. Devin Nunes’ Trump-Russia cover-up efforts as House Intelligence Committee chair: raising money for his campaign. The message he sent to to conservative and Republican donors seems to basically be, “I covered for Trump. Pay me.”
Looking for contributions for his reelection campaign, Nunes claimed that he had gone through “a year of diverted resources and slanderous attacks from the far left over alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russian hackers.” (Actually, there have been no serious allegations that the Trump campaign was in bed with the Russian “hackers” who targeted Democrats, but there has been evidence that Trump campaign advisers were in contact with Russians while Moscow was waging its cyberattacks and information warfare against the 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump.)
Having shuttered the Russia investigation, Nunes bashes “liberals” for attempting “to keep their conspiracy alive” and refusing to let “the intelligence community move on.”
Nunes writes “we’ve reached a conclusion about collusion: there was none.” That is because, as Mark Sumner explains, they weren’t actually looking for it.
In an investigation supposedly about actions related to the Trump campaign and transition team, Republicans did not call: Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, Stephen Miller, Sean Spicer, KT McFarland, George Papadopoulos, Sam Nunberg, Dan Scavino, Kellyanne Conway, Keith Kellog, or Reince Priebus. They didn’t call Aaron Nevins, a Republican consultant who openly worked with Russian intelligence to determine the most valuable stolen documents and sent that information to the Trump campaign. They didn’t call Natalia Veselnitskaya, who led the Russian delegation at the Trump Tower meeting, even though she had offered to appear. They didn’t call NRA officials, despite the $30 million they added to the Trump campaign or numerous contacts between that group and Russia. They didn’t bring in anyone from Cambridge Analytica, and settled for a video conference with CEO Alexander Nix, leaving Nix to laugh about how Republicans had only asked three questions and learned nothing.
But that’s just what Republican expected, as Nunes very well knows. They’re getting what they paid for, he’s reminding them, as he demands the next installment.