Suspicious behavior over the last few months has led many to believe that Congressman Devin Nunes is compromised and may be more embroiled in the unfolding Russia scandal than previously thought.
Opponents have widely criticized Devin Nunes’ involvement as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigations into the relationship between Donald Trump, his affiliates, and Russia.
There are suspicions that Devin Nunes may be colluding with Trump’s White House to affect the outcome of the investigations. This comes after matters came to a head recently when it was reported that Nunes had met with two White House officials to disclose confidential material about the possible surveillance of Donald Trump’s campaign operations.
Devin Nunes has attempted to deflect suspicion by stating that he was on the White House property specifically to review the reports in a secure location. Nunes has also claimed that it is highly likely that neither Trump nor any of his aides were aware of his presence, as he was in a different part of the building.
According to a former intelligence agent, members of Congress are submitted to the same checks before being granted access to the White House property.
“Every non-White House staffer must be cleared in by a current White House staffer. So it’s just not possible that the White House was unaware or uninvolved.”
House rules prohibit a member from sharing classified material with any external parties before it has been reviewed by the committee. So far, Nunes has not provided any reasons for why he tried to conceal his involvement in the release of the unverified intelligence.
Many ethics complaints were filed against Devin Nunes detailing the extent of his contravention of house rules, and as such, he has submitted to the pressure to recuse himself.
“I believe it is in the best interests of the House Intelligence Committee and the Congress for me to have Representative Mike Conaway, with assistance from Representatives Trey Gowdy and Tom Rooney, temporarily take charge of the Committee’s Russia investigation while the House Ethics Committee looks into this matter.”
However, this is only a temporary decision, as Devin Nunes maintains that the allegations are false, and he will be returning to the investigation in his capacity as chairman once he has met with the Ethics Committee to have the accusations quelled.
“I will continue to fulfill all my other responsibilities as Committee Chairman, and I am requesting to speak to the Ethics Committee at the earliest possible opportunity to expedite the dismissal of these false claims.”
Apart from the directives from the Ethics Committee, an online petition at MoveOn.org has gained well over 150,000 signatures calling for Devin Nunes to be dismissed permanently.
Furthermore, prominent Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have added their voices to the calls for Nunes’ recusal.
In what has widely been condemned as a misdirection campaign, President Donald Trump and his White House aides have been embroiled in a hawkish offensive to distract attention away from the potentially explosive Russian election interference allegations.
One of the latest victims of the assault is Obama’s former National Security Advisor Susan Rice. It is alleged that Rice had revealed a list of names including Trump’s campaign aides that had been the subjects of surveillance. Rice has since rubbished these claims.
Devin Nunes has not commented on whether Susan Rice was, in fact, the official that had revealed the list of names contained in the report he received from the White House.
Donald Trump has been displaying increasingly unusual behavior as the links between his aides and Russia appear to be growing in number. Last week, Trump walked out of an executive order signing without actually signing the document, indicating that his thoughts might be preoccupied with the concerning developments.
Four major Trump allies are at the core of the House Intelligence Committee investigation. Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, and Carter Page have agreed to appear before the committee. Interestingly, Flynn has asked for immunity to be granted before offering his testimony.
Erik Prince has also recently been in the spotlight after the Washington Post published a story that unveiled direct contact between Prince and a representative of Vladimir Putin. Clandestine meetings were held in the Seychelles, allegedly for the purpose of establishing covert channels between the Kremlin and the White House.
[Featured image by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images]