538 published a rather telling graphic last week:
Puts the claims of witch hunts and complaining that the investigation is “dragging on” for more than a year in perspective. It’s not terribly surprising that Trump is spewing garbage and trying to deflect, but that the House has started an all-out war with the DoJ and FBI is another thing entirely.
Speaking of which, the FISA warrant for Carter Page has been released and it demolishes the Republicans’ use of it to attack the investigation and backs up everything the Democrats, the DoJ and the FBI have said.
For anyone who missed it, the Carter Page warrant was central in Trump claiming Obama had his “wires tapped”.
The House Intelligence Committee went to bat over this with that dumb memo. The same HIC whose Republican majority came to the conclusion that there was no evidence that Russia had a preference for Trump over Clinton, the opposite of all US intelligence agencies and the Senate Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan findings.
They also claimed that there was no evidence of collusion between Russians and the Trump campaign, and have kept claiming the entire investigation was opened because of the Steele Dossier, despite the fact that they knew by that point that the investigation was opened because of Papadopoulos blabbing about having insider knowledge about the DNC hacks to an Australian diplomat.
The HIC led by Devin Nunes, who was a Trump cheerleader during the campaign and a very influential member of the transition team. He had to temporarily recuse himself and undergo an ethics investigation after his midnight run to collude with the White House. That investigation was apparently dropped not because he was cleared, but because the panel couldn’t get access to documents. He’s now driving the effort to “investigate” the DoJ and FBI, leading the charge on demanding ludicrous amounts of documentation of open investigations and threatening deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and others with impeachment proceedings if they don’t comply.
Here’s a pretty exhaustive article from the NYT:
I’m not terribly surprised that this crap is happening, but it is surprising that it seems to work as well as it does. The above article ends:
More important, the Russia brouhaha has elevated Nunes far beyond the Central Valley. Once considered the scourge of the Tea Party, he is now viewed as a rock star by the activist Republican base across the country. The National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of the House G.O.P., uses him in its fund-raising emails. And among his Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill, he has never been more popular — so much so that more than one prominent Republican with whom I spoke predicted that Nunes is on track to one day become the top Republican on the all-powerful Ways and Means Committee.
In February, at its annual Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, the American Conservative Union presented Nunes with its Defender of Freedom Award for “concerted courage, standing up for truth and freedom under intense duress.” When Nunes accepted the award, he was greeted with cries of “We love you, Devin!” His familiar grimace gave way to a broad smile.
“I don’t know, Mr. Chairman,” Matt Schlapp, the A.C.U. leader, told Nunes as they appeared onstage together. “I think they like you.”