It sure appears that Trump and his closest “advisors” rely heavily upon the presumption that nothing they do will ever see the light of day as evidence, and if it does they will just deny that reality’s existence, or application to this reality. It is the only explanation for how Nunes sat through the committee hearings without blurting out: “Before we go any further, I’d like the record to reflect that I’m ass deep in this shit.”
Now it appears that Nunes might actually have to explain himself, as a new ethics complaint was filed against him Wednesday afternoon:
“The House Intelligence Committee’s Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Report dated December 3, 2019 used a subpoena to obtain phone records which plainly demonstrate that ranking member Devin Nunes (R-CA) has an actual conflict of interest with an ongoing impeachment hearing he oversees …
“That is because Rep. Nunes is currently engaged in overseeing aninvestigation in which it appears he is a fact witness, and which may examine his own activities and meetings with agents and lawyers of the President who solicited foreign election assistance, as well as potentially into his own contacts with foreign government officials.”
The rule itself couldn’t be vaguer: “A member must behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.”
Now, because I personally don’t use “creditably” as a word, I looked it up: “Worthy of belief: a creditable story.”
With such a ridiculously general standard, it is no wonder that few complaints are filed.
“Under House Intel Committee rules, Rep. Nunes could have known that record production had revealed his phone contacts with the persons under subpoena before the general public was informed with the release of the Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report,” the complaint continues. “Yet, the Congressman never disclosed his potential conflict of interest overseeing the investigation to the public, nor did he recuse himself from any of its activities, including the drafting of an official 120-page HPSCI Minority report.”
There is no doubt Nunes now has a terrible conflict of interest. We know what Trump thinks of “recusals.” Recusal is for pusssss, it’s a doctrine reserved for countries that follow laws.
And now we move into troubled waters. Because Trump has near torpedoed the entire idea of a “conflict” or that recusal should ever be considered. He has normalized having conflicted interests as part of the American political landscape. Can you imagine Trump not having some kind of personal conflict in something? Do we even have laws or rules anymore?
It seems perilous, in part because it is so obvious. When Nunes was caught, when the records came to light, he went on Hannity to say that he might have spoken to Parnas, but denied “knowing” Parnas. Turns out, Nunes spoke to the guy he doesn’t know at least four times. I don’t see anything in the media about Nunes resigning in shame, do you?
Trump has forced the entire right into a corner where no facts or crimes matter. Nunes can say “I don’t know a guy” in spite of records showing at least four phone calls minimum, and no one on the right cares. It is like they have a group suicide pact they have with Trump, whereby if none of them turn on each other, they can make-up facts and deny reality. Just so long as no one gets excited and does something ridiculous, like speak about the truth and call out lies, they’ll continue to get away with it.
It is truly scary.
firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @MiciakZoom
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