“…Much (if not most) of what we have learned about the real scandals and true Russian collusion underlying the 2016 presidential election derives directly or indirectly from the dogged work of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and his Republican colleagues on the committee. In recognition of his efforts, Rep. Nunes has been punished by the dross of April Doss and others soldiering in the Democrat/Media complex. Rep. Nunes deserves some kind of award for service to the republic such as a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In his October 21 Washington Examiner column Byron York took a look back on what we have learned so far thanks to Nunes and colleagues including Trey Gowdy, John Ratcliffe, Bob Goodlatte, Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows:
• The important role that the incendiary allegations in the still-unverified Trump dossier played in the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign.
• The fact that the dossier was commissioned and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party.
• The unusual circumstances surrounding the formal beginning of the FBI’s counter-intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.
• The troubling deficiencies in the FBI’s application for the FISA warrant and renewals to wiretap onetime Trump campaign figure Carter Page.
• The anti-Trump bias of some of the top officials in the FBI investigation.
• The degree to which the dossier’s allegations spread throughout the Obama administration during the final days of the 2016 campaign and the transition.
• Obama officials’ unmasking of Trump-related figures in intelligence intercepts.
• The fact that FBI agents did not believe Michael Flynn lied to them in the interview that later led to Flynn’s guilty plea on a charge of lying to the FBI.
• The role of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS in the Trump-Russia probe.
• Nunes and his colleagues learned these things, and told the public about them, over the determined opposition of the FBI, the Justice Department, and Democrats, both on the Intelligence Committee and in the larger House.
• In fact…the FBI and Justice Department fiercely resisted the investigation. They withheld materials, dragged their feet, and flat-out refused to provide information to which congressional overseers were clearly entitled. Sometimes disputes were settled by the intervention of House Speaker Paul Ryan on Nunes’ behalf. Sometimes they weren’t.
• Nunes and the others performed a public service by investigating something no one else was investigating. The Senate Intelligence Committee conducted the big, bipartisan, flagship congressional probe into the Trump-Russia matter. Special counsel Robert Mueller, with full law enforcement powers, investigated Russian meddling, whether any Trump people were involved, and the question of whether the president attempted to obstruct the investigation.
• No one wanted to investigate the investigators, even though their conduct cried out for scrutiny.
• The work is not yet done. These days, a joint group from the House Judiciary and Oversight committees is conducting interviews with several figures in the Trump-Russia matter. In addition, Nunes and other Republicans are still urging President Trump to release additional parts of the Carter Page surveillance application that they say will be contain new revelations.
• None of this has been bipartisan. The work has been done by Republicans and opposed by Democrats. And if Democrats win control of the House, as a number of polls suggest they will do, it will stop immediately.
I add the following related bullet point courtesy of the rhetorical question posed by Holman Jenkins in his October 19 Wall Street column (accessible via Outline here):
• President Trump is accused of violating norms, but the Democratic Party is the one that concocted evidence tarring its opponent as a Russian agent and questions the legitimacy of basic institutions like the Electoral College and the Supreme Court. Its leading lights also encourage the mobbing of partisan opponents in restaurants and elsewhere.
If Democrats win, as Byron notes, Nunes’s work comes to a screeching halt. To adapt a thought from Warren Zevon, send lawyers, guns and money; the Schiff will hit the fan…”