Tag Archives: House Intelligence Committee

It’s official: Trump is incorrigible

It’s been known for a while now, but I’ll just weigh in anyway.

Donald John “Insulter in Chief” Trump is utterly an incorrigible overgrown juvenile delinquent.

He’s been known to hang disparaging nicknames on political foes. He’s gone beyond the realm of decency with this one.

Trump has referred in a Twitter taunt to the incoming U.S. House Intelligence Committee chairman, Adam Schiff, as “Little Adam Schitt.”

Isn’t that a knee-slapper? No. It isn’t. It’s a vulgar epithet that Trump appears to have slung at the California Democratic lawmaker on purpose.

Politico reports that Schiff had a response: “Schiff fired back 35 minutes later, quoting the president’s post and writing on Twitter: ‘Wow, Mr. President, that’s a good one. Was that like your answers to Mr. Mueller’s questions, or did you write this one yourself?'”

Trump sought to make some reference to Schiff’s criticism of the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, suggesting that special counsel Robert Mueller should have been confirmed by the Senate before he started his investigation into alleged collusion with Russian government goons who attacked our election system in 2016.

But … of course the topic of discussion has centered on the vulgar response Trump provided.

To think that the president’s political “base” continues to adore him.


Tell the whole story about ‘collusion,’ Mr. President

That silly Donald Trump just cannot tell the truth about anything.

For instance, he declared this week in the presence of the media and the Japanese prime minister that the U.S. House Intelligence Committee has absolved the president of any “collusion” with Russians who meddled in our 2016 presidential election.

Wrong! Double wrong! Triple wrong!

The committee did nothing of the sort. The panel’s Republican majority issued a partisan statement ending the committee’s investigation. Intelligence Committee Democrats had no part in the statement. The panel’s GOP members decided to protect the president’s backside by issuing a statement that has no basis in fact.

The collusion issue hasn’t yet been determined finally by anyone. Special counsel Robert Mueller continues to look into it. The Senate Intelligence Committee also is continuing its work on this complicated matter.

Yet the president continues to insist repeatedly that there was “no collusion” between his campaign or himself personally and the Russian goons who hacked into our electoral system.

They launched an attack on our political process. They presented a clear and present danger to the integrity of our system of government. The president still won’t say it out loud. He still keeps giving Russian President Vladimir Putin political cover on that issue.

So, Mr. President, knock off the lying. I know I’m making an impossible request of the Liar in Chief, but I have to make it anyway.

GOP calls it: No collusion with Russians


Where do you suppose the above message came from?

Why, none other than Donald John Trump Sr., 45th president of the United States, who fired off the tweet earlier today.

Trump left out a key provision of what the House Intel Committee has declared. He didn’t mention that the findings come from the Republican majority on the panel.

The GOP members of the committee, chaired by Devin Nunes of California, have issued a partisan statement that, shall we say, isn’t shared by the Democrats who also serve on the committee.

So, what the hell is the point here? It surprises not a single person with any knowledge and/or interest in this “Russia thing” that Intelligence Committee Republicans would reach this conclusion.

Nunes has been colluding with the Trump campaign and with the Trump administration from the get-go to subvert the committee’s search for the truth behind allegations that the campaign conspired with Russian hackers to influence the 2016 presidential election outcome.

The House panel’s work has been politicized from the beginning.

The GOP members want the investigation to end. Democrats want it to continue.

To be honest, no one on the outside can draw any conclusions about what the Trump campaign might have done. Committee Republicans say it’s over.

Here’s a thought. Let’s allow special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to reach its own conclusion. Perhaps his probe will end up in the same place. To be honest, I would rather hear the “no collusion” verdict from Mueller, given the dysfunction that has infected the House Intelligence Committee from the beginning of its investigation.

Mueller has a lot of ground to cover. It involves business dealings, obstruction of justice and, oh yes, whether the Russians actually meddled in our 2016 electoral process.

House Republican Intelligence Committee members say there’s no evidence of collusion? That’s their view. It’s not necessarily the view of others who also are up to their armpits in a search for the truth behind this sticky, sordid mess.

POTUS talks out of both sides of mouth

Donald Trump has shown once more how he applies different standards depending on the political impact of whatever decision he chooses to make.

The president had no difficulty releasing a four-page Republican-drafted memo that accuses the FBI of bias in its investigation into the Russia election matter. In fact, he released the memo written by the GOP chairman of the House Intelligence Committee as he was trashing the integrity of the nation’s premier law enforcement agency.

But when it comes to the Democratic response? Oh, my. The president wants to protect the FBI information. He wants to keep it from public view until the committee “makes changes” to it. Trump declined to release the Democratic response, denying the public the same level of transparency he said he wanted with the Republicans’ initial critique of the FBI.

The president cited “national security” concerns in denying the Democratic memo release. Strange. He didn’t express those concerns when it regarded the Republicans’ memo.

Trump’s denial, I should add, comes after the committee voted unanimously to recommend release of the Democrats’ response. Unanimously! That means it was a bipartisan vote, with Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues. When has that happened at any point of this Russia investigation?

Trump said the GOP memo “totally vindicates” him of any alleged wrongdoing regarding the Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He keeps insisting there was “no collusion.” The GOP document proves it. Actually, it doesn’t prove a damn thing.

The public deserves a full disclosure. From both sides of the aisle. The president is playing games with one side’s view of this bizarre saga.


Let’s hear the other side of this memo matter

We now know what Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee think of Robert Mueller’s investigation into the “Russia thing.”

Let’s now hear what Democrats on the panel think about it.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes released “The Memo” that alleges bias in Mueller’s probe into whether the Donald Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russians who hacked into our electoral system and influenced the outcome of the 2016 election.

The memo has touched off a firestorm, caused an earthquake, initiated a tsunami — pick your metaphor.

So, let’s hear what Democrats think. Nunes can make that happen, given that he’s the chairman. So can the president, who’s at the center of all this tumult.

If we’re going to talk about “transparency,” and some members of Congress are doing so, then let’s be totally transparent.

I want to hear what Democrats are saying about their GOP colleagues’ effort to discredit the Mueller investigation.

C’mon! Come clean!

Inquiring minds — such as yours truly’s — want to know. Hey, we deserve to know.

Not all in GOP are buying into Nunes memo

I am happy to acknowledge that the Republican Party’s ranks of power players aren’t singing off the same hymnal page as it regards Russian interference in our electoral process.

Donald John Trump and many of his GOP “friends” in Congress have released a memo that accuses the FBI of bias in its investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., isn’t one of them.

He has released a blistering statement telling Trump that the memo is doing “Putin’s job for him.”

McCain’s statement, issued prior to the release of the memo from the House Intelligence Committee’s Republican members, said, in part: “In 2016, the Russian government engaged in an elaborate plot to interfere in an American election and undermine our democracy,” McCain said. “Russia employed the same tactics it has used to influence elections around the world, from France and Germany to Ukraine, Montenegro and beyond.”

According to the Huffington Post: McCain said Russia’s interference has, at best, sown political discord and succeeded in “dividing us from each other.” Attacking the intelligence community is not how to fix the discord, he said.

I am acutely aware of Sen. McCain’s longstanding antipathy toward Donald J. Trump. The then-GOP presidential candidate disparaged McCain’s heroic service during the Vietnam War. The men haven’t made peace yet.

That doesn’t diminish the importance of what McCain is saying about the release of the memo, written by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif. The intelligence community opposed its release, as did the FBI leadership.

McCain wrote further: “The latest attacks against the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests ― no party’s, no President’s, only Putin’s,” McCain added. “The American people deserve to know all the facts surrounding Russia’s ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why Special Counsel (Robert) Mueller’s investigation must proceed unimpeded. Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the lens of politics and manufacturing political sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.”

This is not how you protect the interests of the people you were elected to govern, Mr. President.

Make recusal permanent, Rep. Nunes

U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes has recused himself “temporarily” from the House Intelligence Committee investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged connection to Russian government hackers.

Fine. Let’s make the recusal permanent, shall we?

Moreover, let’s work to institute an independent investigation into the potentially grave matter and take it completely out of the hands of partisan politicians.

Nunes chaired the Intelligence panel. Then he revealed he had some knowledge of “incidental surveillance” being done on Trump campaign officials. He ventured to the White House secretly and met in private with the president.

The former chairman managed to compromise his independence completely. After all, he had served on Trump’s transition team. From where I sit, he is too close to the subject of his committee’s investigation.

The Intelligence Committee chairmanship now falls to Mike Conaway, a Texas Republican. He pledges to carry the investigation forward.

I fear that won’t be good enough.

This matter is beginning to swallow up Congress as well as the White House. Politics is threatening to get in everyone’s way while the questions continue to surround the president, his campaign staff and even his governing administration.

Did the campaign collude with the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election? Did the president defame former President Obama by accusing him falsely of ordering a wiretap prior to Trump taking office?

Republicans tend to give the president a pass on all of this; Democrats are quick to convict him of all of the above.

Independence is required to produce a thorough and unbiased investigation.

Nunes’ recusal is a start toward that end. Let’s finish it by handing it over to an independent counsel.

Maybe the Senate panel can hold it together

U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Mark Warner have something in common.

They are the chairman and ranking Democratic member, respectively, of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is in the midst of a probe into whether Russian spooks colluded with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to influence the 2016 election.

But their commonality? It rests in the dysfunction occurring with the House Intelligence Committee. Chairman Devin Nunes is under increasing fire over allegations that he has compromised himself because of his coziness with the president.

The House panel has been high-centered over the controversy. Meanwhile, Sens. Burr and Warner pledge to remain cooperative and to ensure that their committee proceeds with all deliberate speed to get the facts out.

Many of their fellow Americans — including yours truly — are hoping that they can uphold their pledge.

My own belief is that there needs to be a special prosecutor to do the job that Congress seems incapable of doing, which is to scour the evidence completely to learn whether there was any collusion.

However, I am ready to accept Burr and Warner making a solemn promise to keep their investigation on track.

Rest assured, senators. A lot of us out here are going to hold your feet to the fire.

POTUS can end this tumult immediately, if only …

Donald J. Trump is the world’s most powerful man.

As president of the United States, he has at his disposal the ability to put all this Russia/wiretap tumult to rest immediately.

How does he do that if what he says is true, that all this hubbub is much ado about nothing, that it’s all “fake news”?

He can order every aide with any possible tie to the Russia story to talk to congressional investigators. He can order them to speak candidly to the FBI. He can allow the former acting attorney general, the one he fired, to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.

All of this, of course, presumes that Trump is innocent of the accusations that are flying all over Washington, D.C.

Did his campaign conspire with Russian hackers to influence the 2016 election? Trump says it didn’t happen. His behavior of late, however, is beginning to smell like something different. It’s beginning to develop the odor of a cover-up.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes is pushing back on calls for him to recuse himself from this investigation. Democrats want him out; so do some Republicans. He says he has nothing to hide. Yet he canceled a hearing with former acting AG Sally Yates. It’s fair to ask: Why?

The House investigation is showing symptoms of an impending implosion.

The principal at the center of all this now occupies the White House. This is Donald Trump’s controversy to squash. He can demand a full public accounting of all the questions that are threatening to swallow his still-young presidency.

That presumes the president’s innocence.

Does he — or doesn’t he — have anything to hide?

Step aside, Chairman Nunes

The more I think about it, the very idea of Devin Nunes chairing the House Intelligence Committee that’s examining Donald J. Trump’s potential Russia connections seems utterly ludicrous.

Chairman Nunes should do what his Democratic colleagues and many of his fellow Republicans are demanding of him. He should recuse himself from the panel’s Russia investigation.

C’mon, man! He served on Donald Trump’s presidential transition team. He has just recently gotten involved in an imbroglio regarding intelligence he said he had that suggested someone had spied on Trump, gathering “incidental” intelligence.

Now he’s trying to explain how he managed to tell the president about it and why he did it.

His objectivity has been compromised to the hilt.

Ranking Democratic Committee member Adam Schiff has demanded that Nunes step down. U.S. Sen. John McCain has joined the chorus; so has fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.

This, folks, now seems like a “well, duh!” moment, given Nunes’ role in Trump’s transition.

The Russia probe needs dispassionate leadership from the House Intelligence Committee chairman. There needs to be a thorough examination of all the evidence that’s been gathered.

The questions are these:

* Did the president collude with Russian hackers who sought to influence the 2016 presidential election?

* Did anyone on his campaign engage in collusion? Did they do so with the candidate’s knowledge?

The House Intelligence Committee needs a chairman who is able — and willing — to seek the truth, no matter where it leads him.

Devin Nunes is not that man.

Step aside, Mr.Chairman.