A Trump lapdog shouldn’t lead any Russia “investigation” in Congress

One of Donald Trump’s most loyal congressional lapdogs — House Intelligence Committee (the Committee) Chair Rep. Devin Nunes — is doing everything in his power to undermine both the congressional investigation and the parallel FBI investigation into Trump’s Russia ties.

Recently, House Republicans released the so-called Nunes memo — a blatant attempt to smear Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the Mueller investigation. As those who had seen the memo had asserted before its release, the so-called memo is really just Republican talking points making unsubstantiated claims to undermine the credibility of the FBI’s investigation. Earlier in the week, the FBI even issued an unprecedented statement publicly rebuking Nunes’s conspiracy-fueled “memo” that expressed “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”

Thanks to the progressive movement’s activism, including the work of hundreds of thousands of CREDO members, Nunes supposedly stepped aside last year from running the House Russia investigation after sharing classified intelligence directly with the press and the White House. However, he is still the Committee’s chair and has been working to subvert its work in order to protect Donald Trump. If Paul Ryan really believes his own words that Congress is responsible for holding the executive branch accountable, he must now remove Nunes from the Committee.

Tell Paul Ryan and the rest of House Republican leadership: Immediately remove Rep. Nunes from the House Intelligence Committee.

It is clear that Trump and his cronies wanted to release the baseless Nunes “memo” because they hoped it would help build their narrative that the Mueller investigation is a witch-hunt with Trump as its target. We now know that Trump reportedly demanded that Mueller be fired last summer, and the only reason Mueller is still on the job is because White House counsel stood up to Trump. It seems that in lieu of outright firing, Trump and his lapdogs are doing everything they can to erode the public’s faith in the investigation and undermine Mueller’s independence.

Devin Nunes was a member of the Trump transition team, and his independence has been suspect for more than a year. But his latest actions go far and above stalling his committee’s investigation. News broke late Wednesday night that the memo Nunes sent to the White House was substantially different from the version the Committee voted to release. He is actively using his access to classified information to interfere in a separate independent investigation.

Nunes’ conspiracy theory-laden “memo” attracted major attention in part because thousands of Russian bots engaged on Twitter calling for the memo to be released. In any other era, the claims the memo reportedly makes would be laughable. The hoax memo from Nunes turned out to be a complete “joke and a sham” which “undermined its own reason for existing, providing political ammunition against the Russia investigation.” By dressing up fringe right-wing conspiracy theories as a “memo,” Nunes is trying to make these absurd attacks mainstream — with the ultimate goal of discrediting Rosenstein and eroding public faith in the independent FBI investigation.

When Republicans voted to release the memo, they also voted against allowing the minority report authored by Rep. Adam Schiff, which points out the flaws in Nunes’ narrative, to be released to members outside the Committee. Republicans in Congress might hope they can obfuscate, but if we make it clear we are paying attention and demand that they put the integrity of our democracy first, we can build pressure on them to act.

Tell Paul Ryan and the rest of House Republican leadership: Immediately remove Rep. Nunes from the House Intelligence Committee.

Originally published at act.credoaction.com.