Devin Nunes & The Russia Investigation
FACTS BEFORE ACTS
We want to provide you with a review of some key facts about the connections with the Tr*mp campaign and Russia, and decided to start with Devin Nunes scandal because we wanted to link it to our action items.
Devin Nunes, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is supposed to be investigating whether or not the Tr*mp campaign colluded with Russia, but has instead been spending time investigating the claim that Tr*mp transition team was wiretapped—a claim already debunked by the FBI’s James Comey (of Opening-a-new-investigation-of-Clinton-10-days-before-election fame). Democrats and some Republicans have been asking for Nunes’ recusal on both of these issues on the grounds that he is too close to the President to be impartial. Here’s a breakdown of the reasons why, all sourced from the NY Times, the LA Times, and NPR.
FACT: Nunes was on the Executive Committee of Trump’s transition team. Not does this signal that he might be too close to be impartial, it also means that the alleged claims about the Trump transition team being wiretapped could literally be about him.
FACT: Nunes met with someone on the White House grounds the day BEFORE he made public claims about surveillance that appeared to defend the Trump administration.
FACT: Nunes also made his trip to the White House the day AFTER Comey and the FBI refuted the claim on Fox News, retweeted by Tr*mp, that transition team phones had been wiretapped.
FACT: That same day, Comey also testified that his investigators were looking into the possibility of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.
FACT: Nunes did all of this without telling anyone on the Intelligence Committee, which is a breach in protocol.
FACT: Nunes did, however, immediately make a trip to tell Tr*mp about the information he had allegedly seen about the surveillance of the transition team.
FACT: Nunes was described by the Washington Post as having “swapped cars and slipped away from his staff,” according to congressional officials, in order to view the classified documents.
FACT: Nunes claims that his source was not on the White House staff, but that they merely met on the grounds because it was the only secure enough location.
FACT: Even if you buy Nunes' story, consider that he went to the White House to get the material, didn’t share it with his own Committee, and then went back to the White House to disclose this information to the President. Adam Schiff, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee concludes: “You know, it just doesn’t add up.” (NPR)
FACT: Schiff also points out that the NSA and CIA had already been asked to provide any surveillance they had done on US citizens months ago, at the time of the alleged wiretapping. They complied, and at the time Nunes believed that they had complied. If this is the case, what could be the need for a late-night trip to the White House grounds in the name of the security of the information?
FACT: Nunes has indefinitely scrapped all meetings and open hearings of the House Intelligence Committee, including a public hearing planned for Tuesday with Obama’s former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates. According to Democratic member Jim Himes, “The Committee has been put into suspended animation.”
FACT: Nunes has refused to name his source: “You can ask me every single name that exists on the planet, and I’m still not going to tell you who our sources are.” (NY Times) The Tr*mp administration has been extremely upset with anonymous sources leaking information, but are of course championing this one in the name of transparency.
FACT: The day after Nunes announced to reporters that people on the transition team had been the subject of surveillance, his spokesman admitted that Nunes didn’t know “for sure” (LA Times) that any Trump aides had actually been surveilled. All that we know is that their names had appeared in intelligence reports, which could have happened because other people were talking about them.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Given that Nunes’ surveillance revelation could very easily mean nothing, it seems like very conveniently timed media exercise meant to distract from the real revelation of the FBI’s investigation into the Trump-Russia alliance. This kind of distraction tactic is, of course, business as usual with Tr*mp—but it’s doubly a problem if the person Tr*mp is using to distract us is the one who is supposed to be investigating his ties to Russia.
Even if you’ve already called your reps asking for an independent investigation, here’s another way to call them about it linking it to the current Nunes scandal. Think of it like being able to kill two birds with one stone specifically because the two birds are stuck together with packing tape.
CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE
CALL YOUR SENATOR
CALL THE HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEES ON INTELLIGENCE
-Sample Script & Contact Information
BEFORE/AFTER YOU CALL
Check out this tracking sheet before you call to see if your Representative/Senator supports an independent investigation. If they’re listed, this will arm you with more information for your call! If they’re not listed, be sure to put the information that you learn in the call into the document. Note: This tracking sheet was found through our friends at Wall-of-us, and it’s not about Nunes specifically.
Community Chapter Highlights
New York City
The NYC Chapter is working with other groups to help pass the Reproductive Health Act in the State of New York. Here is a link to the Manhattan Young Democrats call to action on the RHA. Courtesy of our last speaker, Floriane Borel from the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Join Women Working for Women at the Rally to Save the Arts!! This coming Monday April 3rd, at 12 noon at New York City Hall. If you want to meet up, please email chapter leader Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org.