The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), has finally bowed to intense public pressure and announced he is temporarily recusing himself from the investigation into President Trump and his campaign team’s potentially treasonous collusion with agents of the Russian Federation.
The move is long overdue. Rep. Nunes has been openly serving at the beck and call of the White House for several weeks now, dutifully helping the White House assemble the pieces needed to somehow spin the allegations of Trump’s treason into a distracting conspiracy theory that blames – of course – President Obama and his National Security Advisor, Susan Rice.
A few weeks ago, Nunes met with an unknown intelligence source on White House grounds, where he obtained classified information that indicated that the Trump team was “incidentally” surveilled by US intelligence agencies. That source was revealed to be Michael Flynn-appointee Ezra Cohen-Watnik, the senior director of intelligence.
He then held a press conference in which he announced all this in an apparent attempt to justify President Trump’s outrageous and widely debunked accusations that President Obama had been illegally wiretapping him, but all Nunes did was confirm that Trump’s team was communicating with foreign agents designated by FISA warrants.
Nunes promptly mothballed the intelligence committee’s operations for a week while the next piece was put into play.
Once White House officials leaked to Bloomberg‘s Eli Lake that Susan Rice had demanded the unmasking of Trump campaign officials, all the pieces were in place for a Benghazi-level conspiracy to distract the mainstream media and set the right-wing echo chamber afire.
So having dragged his credibility through the mud in his efforts to carry the water for President Trump, Nunes is now stepping aside, allowing Rep. Michael Conaway (R-TX) to take over stewardship of the House Intel committee, aided by veteran witch-hunter Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL).
Seeing as Conaway is a devout Trump supporter and once compared the Russian hacking campaign during the election to the mariachi singers hired by Democrats to entertain in Latino areas, the outlook for any substantial progress in the Trump-Russia investigation is dim.
The replacement of Nunes is a small victory, but no guarantee that the House committee will produce anything in the long run. We still need a special prosecutor to lead an honest investigation into Trump and determine whether or not the President of the United States committed treason to get into office.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.