Former Trump Transition Team member, Republican Congressman Devin Nunes, (R) CA, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, raced to the White House to inform the President that the Chief, and his team, had been picked up in the course of legal surveillance of some guys, by someone, or other. Nunes said he’d know who’s on first on Friday which is a good thing because he wasn’t clear on Wednesday, witnessed by his incoherent and contradictory, remarks to reporters.
Richard Nixon started talking to pictures on the White House walls when he couldn’t take it any more. Trump might consider the flowers because they won’t talk back. If the President is allergic to pollen he should talk to a lawyer, instead.
Nunes’ dash all but guaranteed that a select committee would investigate Trump’s ties to Russia. The Attorney General has recused himself from all things Russia due to his campaign contacts with Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, and, now, the head of the House Intelligence Committee must recuse himself, too, for ex-parte contacts with a target of the Committee’s current investigation, the President.
In his strange comments to the press, Nunes praised the NSA for cooperating with him but complained that, after a week, he hasn’t heard back from the FBI about a request for unspecified information that he could have brought up on Monday, at the Committee’s open hearing at which FBI Director, James Comey, testified. Let’s be clear, Director Comey, once a high ranking Justice Department official, isn’t obligated to compromise his own investigation because a loose-lipped congressman got all jittery, maybe at seeing his own name in transcript form. A pretty please doesn’t get you classified information, or criminal investigative files.
If anyone wants something from James Comey they will have to subpoena it and Comey is free, in return, to ask a judge to quash the subpoena. If he chooses to ignore it, and a contempt citation is voted, he can contest that, too, on national security grounds, among others. In practice, no judge, anywhere, is going to tell James Comey to do anything that he doesn’t want to do when the stakes affect the integrity of, now, two branches of government. Hillary Clinton, expansively, says Comey elected Trump. He may, now, un-elect him.
In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee Comey spoke about the threat to the fabric of America that Russian election tampering represents. Comey, who has been described as a complicated man, is simple in his patriotism. When he talks about American values there is no equivocation. It’s fitting he holds the country’s future in his hands. It’s heady business for a New York Giant’s fan.
Congressman Adam Schiff, (D) Burbank, Intelligence Committee Ranking Member and former federal prosecutor, upped the stakes for any election-rigging conspirators when he announced that there is more than circumstantial evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the campaign. Legally, Schiff’s statement puts everyone on notice that they shouldn’t, even, consider spoliating evidence in advance of discovery.
Nixon’s downfall was guaranteed when it was revealed that his Secretary, Rose Marie Woods, allegedly, took her foot off the voice recording pedal right just as he was at his most compromising. Wood’s loyalty didn’t help the President and she lost her job, anyway.
Donald Trump watches television, avidly, a trait he shares with many Baby Boomers who were the first generation raised on the new medium. It is inconceivable that he missed the Watergate hearings that led Richard Nixon to resign. He may recall a meek, mild-mannered, lawyer, John Dean, who rose to international prominence for laying out Nixon’s crimes to the Watergate Committee. In his dreams, Trump can wonder which of his staff members will be his John Dean.