Ok my excuse is that yesterday was rushed because I had to do things out in the world, so I didn’t grasp what the news about the identity of the people who gave Nunes the sekrit info meant. Julie Hirschfeld Davis at the Times caused the penny to drop in a piece on Trump’s dopy tweet about Flynn and immunity and “Dems” this morning.
The credibility of the inquiry was thrown into question on Thursday after it emerged that a pair of White House officials helped provide Representative Devin Nunes of California, a Republican and chairman of the Intelligence Committee, with intelligence reports that showed Mr. Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.
Armed with the information, Mr. Nunes held a news conference and made a public show of going to the White House to hand-deliver information to Mr. Trump, an apparent effort to help the White House explain why the president had taken to Twitter early this month to accuse President Barack Obama of wiretapping his telephone. The chiefs of the F.B.I. and the National Security Agency have both testified that such surveillance never took place.
Ohh – right. The fact that they are White House people means that Nunes’s exciting dash to the White House to brief Donnie was a big fucking charade. White House people gave him the info, therefore Trump already knew about it, therefore Nunes’s “briefing” was a piece of theater.
It was not clear from Mr. Trump’s post on Friday whether he fully appreciated the potential impact on his administration if Mr. Flynn received immunity to participate fully in the investigation. But he has said previously that seeking protection from prosecution is a telltale sign of wrongdoing.
“If you’re not guilty of a crime, what do you need immunity for, right?” he said at a campaign rally in Orlando, Fla., in September. Mr. Trump was referring to Hillary Clinton aides who received immunity during an F.B.I. inquiry into her private email server.
And Flynn led the crowd in chanting “Lock her up!”
The point about Nunes’s charade is in yesterday’s Times article but I was reading too fast (or skimming) and missed it.
The revelation on Thursday that White House officials disclosed the reports, which Mr. Nunes then discussed with Mr. Trump, is likely to fuel criticism that the intelligence chairman has been too eager to do the bidding of the Trump administration while his committee is supposed to be conducting an independent investigation of Russia’s meddling in the presidential election.
It is the latest twist of a bizarre Washington drama that began after dark on March 21, when Mr. Nunes got a call from a person he has described only as a source. The call came as he was riding across town in an Uber car, and he quickly diverted to the White House. The next day, Mr. Nunes gave a hastily arranged news conference before going to brief Mr. Trump on what he had learned the night before from — as it turns out — White House officials.
It has a cartoonish feel, doesn’t it. Ooh, a late night call while riding in an Uber car – oooh a quick diversion to the White House – ooh an emergency press conference followed by an emergency briefing to tell Trump what he already knew.