Surprise! Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have decided that the intelligence community (and no, there are no typos in there) has this Russia thing all wrong.
Or actually, that’s not fair. They think the intelligence community has it mostly right with the exception of one, tiny, insignificant little detail.
Specifically, they “concur” with the intelligence community on everything “except with respect to Putin’s supposed preference for candidate Trump.”
That quote comes from a one-pager the committee released on Monday in lieu of a 150-page report that’s forthcoming.
That longer report will apparently detail the following:
- A pattern of Russian attacks on America’s European allies;
- Russian cyberattacks on U.S. political institutions in 2015-2016 and their use of social media to sow discord;
- A lackluster pre-election response to Russian active measures;
- Concurrence with the Intelligence Community Assessment’s judgments, except with respect to Putin’s supposed preference for candidate Trump;
- We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians;
- How anti-Trump research made its way from Russian sources to the Clinton campaign; and
- Problematic contacts between senior Intelligence Community officials and the media.
So basically, they have concluded that Trump was right about everything and if you read those latter two bullet points, it kinda seems like they’re actually going to try and say that Hillary Clinton was colluding with Russians and also that the intelligence community is involved in a media conspiracy. Oh, and the third bullet point seems to blame Obama for the meddling.
Gee, it’s almost like Trump told them what conclusions he wanted them to come to because after all, Trump has literally said all of that on Twitter over, and over, and over again. Strange.
That is obviously hilarious and also absurd, but hey, what did you expect? After all, this is the Devin Nunes’ show (even though Mike Conaway is supposedly running it). Speaking of Conaway, here’s what he had to say:
We found no evidence of collusion, and so we found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings. We found no evidence of any collusion of anything people were actually doing, other than taking a meeting they shouldn’t have taken or just inadvertently being in the same building.
Ok. And here’s Nunes:
- NUNES SAYS CMTE HAS FINISHED RUSSIA PROBE, WILL WORK ON REPORT
- NUNES: HOPE FINDINGS USEFUL FOR IMPROVING SECURITY IN MIDTERMS
You can go back and read all of our Nunes posts in the archive here, but in the interest of reminding you, in the most straightforward manner possible, why this is so laughable, just read the following idiot-proof recap from USA Today (and look, if USA Today gets why this is so stupid and you don’t, well then God help you):
The committee’s traditional bipartisanship began unraveling in the spring of last year, when Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., took a secret trip to White House grounds to review information gathered by unnamed sources purporting to show that President Trump was under surveillance by the Obama administration during the 2016 campaign.
At a news conference after his trip, Nunes told reporters that he had discovered evidence to support the president’s claim that he was wiretapped at Trump Tower. However, the Justice Department confirmed in a court filing in September that there was no evidence that Trump Tower was targeted for surveillance.
Nunes temporarily stepped aside from the Russia investigation last April when the House Ethics Committee announced that it was investigating whether Nunes violated any laws or congressional rules by disclosing classified information. The Ethics Committee closed its investigation of Nunes in December.
Even while he had stepped aside, Nunes upset Democrats by continuing to issue subpoenas for documents and witnesses. Nunes, who served on the Trump transition team, has focused his own inquiries on actions by former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration. Those inquires will now continue, Republicans said Monday.
Again, the idea that you can trust anything that comes out of this committee is so silly that it barely bears repeating.
This comes after the “memo” fiasco that found Nunes throwing what amounted to a Hail Mary last month in an effort to make the American public believe that the FBI can’t be trusted. That memo was refuted by a Democratic counter-memo.
Schiff is obviously furious:
- SCHIFF: GOP NOT WILLING TO PRUSUE FACTS IN RUSSIA PROBE
- SCHIFF: ENDING HOUSE PANEL’S RUSSIA PROBE `TRAGIC MILESTONE’
- SCHIFF: HOUSE `LEAVING TO OTHERS’ IMPORTANT RUSSIA PROBE WORK
Here’s more from his statement:
House Intelligence Committee Republicans are not willing to pursue the facts wherever they would lead and are afraid to compel witnesses like Steve Bannon, Hope Hicks, Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump Jr., Corey Lewandowski and so many others to answer questions. Instead, Republicans began counter-investigations into anyone and anything other than what they were charged to do. Ironically, even while they close down the Russia investigation, they plan to continue trying to put our own government on trial: this is a great service to the president, and a profound disservice to the country. If the Russians do have leverage over the president of the United States, the majority has simply decided it would rather not know.
Right, but again, this was a foregone conclusion. This committee has been a goddamn soap opera for months and anything Nunes touches is hopelessly tainted. Good riddance. Better to just shut this fucker down and hope the Senate isn’t derelict in their duties too.
Of course this doesn’t affect Mueller, and Mueller is really all that matters here.
For whatever it’s worth, here’s the one-pager mentioned above: