Rep. Devin Nunes is one of Donald Trump’s top defenders in Congress. He also was a member of Donald Trump’s transition team. He’s also—sheer coincidence—in charge of the House Intelligence Committee, which will be tasked with investigating Russia’s role in aiding Donald Trump during the presidential campaign, and no, Republicans don’t see any problem at all with Trump’s transition team “investigating” Trump campaign allegations. So this is going to be a gigantic clusterf–k—and the sooner everyone realizes that and moves to an independent commission instead, the more time we’ll save.
[Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff] has already signaled he would be prepared to disavow the intelligence panel’s work if he feels Republicans are protecting sacred cows — a split that would undermine public confidence that Russia’s election interference has been fully explained and won’t be allowed to happen again.
The divergence has already burst into the public. After Nunes, a close Trump ally and member of the president’s transition team executive committee, said last month that he had seen no evidence tying Trump officials to Moscow, he drew a swift rebuke from Schiff for appearing to prejudge the outcome of their probe.
Rep. Nunes, in fact, has repeatedly defended Trump’s team from the charges he is supposed to be “investigating,” even parroting the White House line that maybe every single one of the nation’s intelligence services was simply wrong about Russia seeking to aid Trump because he simply says so, that’s why.
Schiff and other Democrats still seem to think there’s a chance Nunes can lead a competent, thorough investigation. Part of that, though, requires Devin Nunes to stop acting as public spokesman for team Trump while investigating team Trump, and there’s been no evidence at all he intends to do that. And then there’s the question of whether the intelligence services consider Nunes himself to be a mole for the very people they’ve been investigating.