According to the Associated Press, the chairman of the House intelligence committee says he will temporarily step aside from the panel’s probe into Russian meddling in the election.
In a statement on Thursday, Republican congressman Devin Nunes of California says that several “left-wing activist groups” have filed accusations against him with the office of congressional ethics. It’s completely typical of a toady like Nunes to blame someone else for his own ethical troubles. His attempt to run cover for Trump was so clumsy and obvious that John Oliver termed the whole thing “Stupid Watergate” – just as scandalous as Watergate but the people involved are a really, really stupid.
In reality, Nunes had been criticized and his recusal sought by Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the Committee, and indeed, even colleagues within his own party had condemned his conduct, which seemed a clear attempt to act to protect the White House, as opposed to conducting the investigation according to accepted and appropriate protocols. Several legislators have suggested that Nunes has already compromised the integrity of the House Intel Committee investigation.
Nunes says the charges are false and politically motivated. But he says it’s in the best interest of the committee to have GOP Congressman Mike Conaway of Texas temporarily take charge of the committee’s investigation.
This is a half-measure taken only because he is now under ethical investigation. Nunes, who was part of the Trump transition team, continues to prioritize protecting Trump over conducting the investigation, under circumstances where the publicly known evidence already strongly suggests collusion with Russian intelligence operatives to intervene in the 2016 election. Rather than temporarily stepping aside, Nunes should completely recuse himself.