Following exposure of his shameful, bumbling attempt earlier this year to create a distraction around nitwit Donald "Rump" Trump's claim that he was "wire tapped" by President Obama, American villain Rep. Devin "Inspector Clouseau" Nunes (R- Trump's Pocket) was forced to recuse himself from the House Intelligence Committee's investigation of Russian interference in the election on behalf of Rump. But being the villain he is, he's still doing everything he can to muddy the waters (a.k.a., obstruct justice) on behalf of Rump. Last week, Nunes, acting on his own in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee and errand boy for Rump, issued three subpoenas -- though not to advance the Committee's investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal:
Nunes served subpoenas this week to the CIA, the NSA and the FBI asking for information about unmaskings requested by three former officials: national security adviser Susan E. Rice, CIA director John Brennan and U.N. ambassador Samantha Power.In issuing his subpoenas, Nunes expressed his concern about "violations of Americans' civil liberties" via unmasking. As a good errand boy, Nunes was careful to coordinate his action with the Rump White (Supremacist) House, as evidenced by this contemporaneous tweet by the twit:
The big story is the "unmasking and surveillance" of people that took place during the Obama Administration.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2017
It turns out, however, that Republicans' and Nunes' noble concern about "unmasking" seems to be a rather recent phenomenon:
The Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee asked U.S. spy agencies late last year to reveal the names of U.S. individuals or organizations contained in classified intelligence on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, engaging in the same practice that President Trump has accused the Obama administration of abusing, current and former officials said.
The chairman of the committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), has since cast the practice of “unmasking” of U.S. individuals and organizations mentioned in classified reports as an abuse of surveillance powers by the outgoing Obama administration. (our emphasis)Well, well. Hypocrisy thy name is you, Nunes. But we already knew that, didn't we?
Today's Washington Post editorial sums up the problem with Nunes' behavior, and what the "big story" is here, regardless of diversions and distractions:
The Nunes action seems unnecessary; if anything improper was done, the committee is capable of checking into it. This is not a separate matter from the Russia story, and Mr. Nunes’s recusal means he should keep his hands off it. Suspiciously, right after Mr. Nunes issued the subpoenas, Mr. Trump tweeted, “The big story is the ‘unmasking and surveillance’ of people that took place during the Obama Administration.”
No, it is not. The “big story” is whether Russia brazenly attempted to tilt the U.S. election by damaging Hillary Clinton through a cyberattack and other means, thereby helping Mr. Trump to victory, and whether members of the Trump campaign colluded in that effort. It’s about Mr. Trump’s ill-explained and gratuitous attempts during the transition and since to do the bidding of Russian President Vladimir Putin, including trying to unwind the sanctions against Russia imposed by President Barack Obama after the election meddling was discovered.
The “big story” is why Mr. Trump has frantically attempted to shut down the Russia investigations, including through the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey. It’s about getting an answer, once and for all, about Mr. Trump’s finances and any undisclosed links with Russia. The unmasking that’s important is the truth behind all this. Now it is in the hands of the investigators, and they must be left to do their work properly and without interference by Mr. Trump — or Mr. Nunes.Every time this villainous clown tries to help his boss, he comes perilously close to obstructing an ongoing investigation. If his fellow party- before- country Republicans weren't also engaged in the same thing (albeit more subtly), Nunes would get censured. As it is, he'll probably get a pat on the back and a wink and a nod.