Former Obama national security adviser, Susan Rice, voluntarily testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed-door session as part of their ongoing investigation into how Russia interfered in the 2016 election. During these investigations, some news has come to light that Republicans have tried to use to discredit Obama, some of his officials, and thus, the entire Russia scandal. It seems, though, that some Republicans spread some fake news about all of this, probably to help Donald Trump.
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, has maintained that Rice improperly unmasked the names of members of Trump’s transition team caught up in incidental surveillance of Russian nationals. However, Senator Richard Burr, a Republican and the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has something to say about that, and it’s pretty damning for Nunes:
“The unmasking thing was all created by Devin Nunes, and I’ll wait to go through our full evaluation to see if there was anything improper that happened.” [emphasis mine]
So Devin Nunes lied? It certainly looks like that’s what Burr is saying. While Burr acknowledged that American citizens on Trump’s transition team were unmasked, and that information did become public when it shouldn’t have, he seems to believe that Nunes was making things up when he accused Susan Rice of improper unmasking.
That goes with earlier reports that Nunes got his information from the White House, which has had a bone to pick with the entire Obama administration since Jan. 20. Nunes was vague in discussing the unmasking, apparently because the information was classified (but maybe also because he knew he was lying).
Most other lawmakers who have seen these records, and have seen the unmasking, said there was no evidence of wrongdoing on Rice’s part, or anyone else’s. But Nunes made it his mission to discredit Rice (and thus, Obama) to the point where he could at least accuse the Obama administration of breaking the law.
The problem with Nunes’ involvement with this investigation is that he was always more interested in clearing Trump than he was in actually investigating the fact that a hostile foreign power successfully meddled in our election in 2016. He’s also apparently said that he’s been getting updates on the investigation despite recusing himself from it, and that he “can do whatever I want. I’m the chairman of the committee.”
Nunes needs to lose his job.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images