Given the events of this week so far, it would not be considered too much of a stretch to say that our Nation is in the middle of a constitutional crisis.
Rep. Devin Nunes, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, basically ran interference for the White House by personally briefing President Trump on some incidental pickup of some of the president’s communications–something which was pretty much well-known, not illegal, and totally unrelated to what the president tweeted about, the horribly false claim that Barack Obama personally ordered surveillance on him.
House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes set off a stunning new political controversy Wednesday by revealing that communications of President Donald Trump and associates may have been picked up after the election by intelligence agencies conducting surveillance of foreign targets.
Nunes hurried to the White House to personally brief Trump on the revelations, after talking to the press but without sharing the information with Democrats. His Democratic counterpart on the committee — Rep. Adam Schiff of California — warned that his colleague had cast a “profound cloud” over their effort to investigate Russian attempts to interfere in the election.A Republican source with knowledge of the situation claimed the information that Nunes talked about was from the intelligence community and not the White House. The source said Nunes was “steaming” about what he read.
For an independent commission to be created, legislation must be approved by both houses of Congress and signed by the president.
Congress can override a presidential veto. But, so far, Republicans who control the House and Senate have said they see no reason for such a body to be created when an investigation can be handled by the intelligence committees. Democrats have privately said that to pressure Republicans into creating such a commission likely would take some type of significant disclosure — like publicly released evidence of direct collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign.
Trump certainly won’t do anything to end his own presidency; Rep. Schiff’s findings and James Comey’s announcement of the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s possible collusion with the Russian government may just do that:
The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, US officials told CNN.
This is partly what FBI Director James Comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, according to one source.The FBI is now reviewing that information, which includes human intelligence, travel, business and phone records and accounts of in-person meetings, according to those U.S. officials. The information is raising the suspicions of FBI counterintelligence investigators that the coordination may have taken place, though officials cautioned that the information was not conclusive and that the investigation is ongoing.In his statement on Monday Comey said the FBI began looking into possible coordination between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives because the bureau had gathered “a credible allegation of wrongdoing or reasonable basis to believe an American may be acting as an agent of a foreign power.”
With Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) a “no,” NBC now has ID’ed 30 GOPers who are opposed/strongly leaning against House bill
— Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics) March 23, 2017
If this holds up, this could be a huge defeat for the Trump administration.
May there be many more.