BREAKING: Nunes Could Face Obstruction Charges, Says Former White House Counsel
If Trump is enjoying the glow of any positive coverage of his first State of the Union Address on Wednesday — and reviews were decidedly split — it will be short-lived.
Is Devin Nunes obstructing justice?
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As it was, Trump’s speech was already overshadowed by the explosive announcement last week that a highly controversial — and by some accounts, highly dubious — memo written by Republican House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes about Special Councel Robert Mueller’ Russia / Trump investigation was going to be released. It’s now up the the White House to decide whether or not to make the memo public.
On Monday, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe made a surprise exit from the agency, adding more fuel to the speculation that the fix was in. With McCabe stepping down, Trump could now install a new Director that could conceivably fire Mueller and effectively end the investigation of potential Russian interference with the 2016 elections, and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
The highly partisan memo seeks to delegitimize Mueller’s investigation, reportedly alleging in part that there is vast “deep state” within the FBI that is out to sink Trump’s presidency.
Both FBI Director Christopher Wray and top officials at the Department of Justice have made it clear to the Trump White House that the memo should not be released to the public, alleging it contains inaccurate information and could expose “sources and methods,” and be highly damaging to national security.
News of the memo was almost immediately followed by a Twitter hashtag “#ReleaseTheMemo,” which quickly trended with the help of a massive swarm of Russian Twitter bots. Curious, that.
On Tuesday, things got even more complicated, with the Daily Beast reporting that Nunes may have in fact worked with the Trump White House on the memo.
In a private meeting on Monday, Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley reportedly asked Nunes “point-blank” if Nunes had been working with the White House on the memo. Nunes was reportedly evasive, finally saying;
“I’m not answering.”
Norm Eisen, Chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and former White House Special Councel for Ethics and Government Reform under Barack Obama, noted that, if that was the case, Nunes may have gotten himself into real trouble:
Whoa—Nunes’s speech and debate clause Congressional immunity may not protect him from liability for conduct outside Congress. Depending on the facts, Nunes may have put himself in middle of a conspiracy to obstruct justice. He better beware: There r no secrets in this White House https://t.co/wD1atYgtR3
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) January 31, 2018
As Raw Story notes;
The Congressional Immunity law states that members of the U.S. Congress can not be prosecuted while they are “attending a session of the body to which the member belongs, excluding an arrest for treason, breach of the peace, or a felony.”
The law also provides immunity from arrest or interrogation “for any speech or debate entered into during a legislative session.”
If Nunes has coordinated with the White House, none of these protections would apply.
Stay tuned to Reverb Press for more on this fast-breaking story.
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images
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