Saving Trump

Now Devin Nunes is using the intelligence investigation to try to bail out Trump. It’s my understanding that that’s a no-no.

Representative Devin Nunes said Wednesday that the intelligence community collected multiple conversations involving members of Trump’s transition team during legal surveillance of foreign targets after he won election last year. After Nunes went to the White House to brief Trump, the president told reporters “I somewhat do” feel vindicated by the latest development.

The committee’s top Democrat, Adam Schiff of California, said Nunes’s decision to go to Trump before informing other members of the panel “casts quite a profound cloud” over whether the committee can conduct a proper investigation.

The Intelligence Committee chairman is taking a risk in providing a measure of cover for the president. His committee is one of the congressional panels that’s supposed to be providing oversight of the investigation by the FBI and other agencies into Russian meddling in last year’s presidential campaign. Nunes — who served on Trump’s transition team — said the surveillance that picked up Trump’s associates wasn’t aimed at Russia.

Schiff said Nunes has to decide whether he’s going to lead the Intelligence Committee or “act as a surrogate of the White House. He cannot do both.” The Democrat said an independent investigation is needed to investigate Russia’s interference and any contacts between those around Trump and the Russian government.

Schiff also said in a statement that Nunes told him the names of U.S. citizens in the intercepted communications “were in fact masked, but that he could still figure out the probable identity of the parties.” He said, “This does not indicate that there was any flaw in the procedures followed by the intelligence agencies.”

Trump and his aides have tried to deflect attention from the probe of Russian meddling by focusing on the assertion that they were the victims of surveillance and through complaints that information about the investigation — and contacts between Trump allies and Russian officials — have been leaked by the intelligence community.

And Nunes is helping him, while leading the investigating committee. What a joke.

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