Call your House Rep and demand Devin Nunes’s removal from his post as Chair of the House of Representatives’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Yep, we’re making an exception to our rule on issuing one thing you can do, per day, to push back against Trump. We need to get news out about the next Families Belong Together protest, but this needs attention, too, and it needs it today.
Devin Nunes, who represents the 22nd District of California, has been a goddamn menace on the House Committee on Intelligence since Trump’s election. He’s seemingly made it his business to personally defend Trump instead of serving the American people.
He should have been removed from the chairmanship of the committee ages ago. Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, has consistently refused to do so.
With the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) July 21, 2018 release of the FISA documents relating to Carter Page, it is abundantly clear that Nunes absolutely, positively has to GO. The fact that Trump went on a tweetstorm about this on Sunday claiming that the DOJ and FBI ‘misled the courts’ makes it still more urgent.
While the documents are heavily redacted, every single knowledgable commenter on Twitter agrees that Nunes was stone cold wrong in his representations of what these documents contained, and his Democratic colleague, Adam Schiff, was correct.
Here is a selection of Twitter comments to that effect.
Caroline O (@RVAWonk):
An important takeaway from the Carter Page FISA documents released today: They prove without a shadow of a doubt that lied about the FISA warrant to try to discredit the Russia probe. And they also prove that told the truth.
Example: Nunes claimed the FBI cited a Sept. 2016 Yahoo News article to corroborate the Steele dossier. Schiff said no, the FBI cited the article to inform the court of Carter Page’s public denial of his Moscow meeting. (L) Today’s FISA docs show Schiff’s account is correct. (R) [She included a screen grab which we can’t reproduce.]
Devin Nunes won’t admit that he lied about Carter Page’s FISA warrant to undermine an ongoing investigation — but what about the rest of the GOP-led House intel committee, which largely went along with the Nunes memo? And what about , who could remove Nunes tomorrow?
Defending the Nunes memo in Feb, said: “This is about FISA abuse and…holding our govt accountable…and conducting oversight over the executive branch which…has been given great power over us at citizens. We need to make sure that that power is used correctly.” [She linked to a video of Ryan saying precisely this.]
So if cares about accountability & oversight, what’s he going to do to hold accountable for using his position as HPSCI chairman to lie to the American people, corrupt the oversight process, & undermine a federal investigation?
Julian Sanchez, another who is well-regarded in this realm and who tweets as @normative, said:
There’s a full page of discussion of Steele being hired to conduct political oppo research, and why the FBI regards his reporting as reliable anyway. Makes the Nunes claim that they tried to hoodwink the FISC about this look even more ridiculous.
It’s absolutely insane Nunes tried to claim FBI hid this information from the FISC. All this immediately follows the first mention of Steele (aka “Source 1”). [This is followed by a screen grab that we can’t reproduce.]
Also quite clear that, contrary to Nunes’ claims, the FBI was NOT using Michael Isikoff’s Yahoo News article as independent confirmation of Steele’s reporting, but as a source for Page’s denials he was working for Russia. [This is followed by a screen grab that we can’t reproduce.]
What this does make clear beyond any serious doubt is the brazen dishonesty of the Nunes memo. It is impossible to imagine a reasonable person reading this document and then making the claims in that memo in good faith.
The expert who tweets under the @pwnallthethings handle, in analyzing the Carter Page FISA documents, said:
Worth noting, for the record, that it was Rep. Trey Gowdy who went and read the FISA
application for the HPSCI majority when compiling the Nunes memo. So he has a lot to
answer for here.
Carrie Cordero (@carriecordero), a law professor, CNN analyst, and contributing editor to the Lawfare blog tweeted:
Let me be crystal clear: the Chairman of the House intelligence committee, Devin Nunes, set in motion a chain of events based on a bogus & politicized charge against DOJ’s use of
, that just upended 40 years of FISA practice that protected the nation’s secrets.
You can be for , and likewise lament that this case, for these reasons, is
the one that busted the system and will have profound consequences for protecting
national security information in cases involving going forward.
Rather than a tweetstorm, expert David Kris wrote a piece for the Lawfare blog on the documents. Key quote from that post:
The Nunes memo accused the FBI of dishonesty in failing to disclose information about Steele, but in fact the Nunes memo itself was dishonest in failing to disclose what the FBI disclosed. I said then, and I still believe, that the “Nunes memo was dishonest. And if it is allowed to stand, we risk significant collateral damage to essential elements of our democracy.”
Now we have some additional information in the form of the redacted FISA applications themselves, and the Nunes memo looks even worse. In my earlier post, I observed that the FBI’s disclosures about Steele were contained in a footnote, but argued that this did not detract from their sufficiency: “As someone who has read and approved many FISA applications and dealt extensively with the FISA Court, I will anticipate and reject a claim that the disclosure was somehow insufficient because it appeared in a footnote; in my experience, the court reads the footnotes.” Now we can see that the footnote disclosing Steele’s possible bias takes up more than a full page in the applications, so there is literally no way the FISA Court could have missed it. The FBI gave the court enough information to evaluate Steele’s credibility.
Full David Kris post is here:
So! We at OTYCD are asking you to call your House Rep and demand Nunes’s removal as chair of the House Intelligence committee.
Before you call, check the links below that show the full list of members of the committee. Is your House Rep one of them? If so, it’s extra-important that you call.
Majority members of the committee (all Republican):
Minority members of the committee (all Democrats):
Also, if your House Rep is Speaker Paul Ryan? Super-extra-mega-important for you to call.
Sample script: “Dear House Rep [Lastname], I am [Firstname Lastname from town, zip code]. I am calling to urge you and your colleagues to remove Devin Nunes as chair of the House Intelligence Committee. He has been unbelievably irresponsible with his power since Trump was elected, and on Saturday, we got proof of just how irresponsible he was. Every responsible intelligence expert who comments publicly agree that he misrepresented the Carter Page FISA documents. Some accuse him of ‘brazen dishonesty.’ Others accuse him of misusing his power and undermining national security to serve a political end. Regardless, it is long past time to remove him from his position on that sensitive committee before he can do even more damage. I urge you to urge your colleagues to prevail upon Speaker Ryan and do the right thing at long last.”
Once you’ve done that, please support Andrew Janz, the Democrat who’s running against Nunes and hopes to take his seat. Donate to his campaign, phone-bank for him, canvass for him, follow him on social media–anything helps.
See the OTYCD post on Andrew Janz and his campaign:
Read the NYT story on the document release:
Here’s a July 22, 2018 CNN article that cites Trump claiming the docs show the DOJ and FBI ‘misled the courts’ (they didn’t):
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