A sizable portion of the Democratic Party has been busily investing significant media capital to promote the false narrative that Russian interference in the presidential election is to blame for Hillary Clinton’s stunning loss.
Evidently, members of this same intractable liberal faction have now turned their attention toward their next target in what appears to be an endless roster of individuals that the Democrats can go about systematically disparaging, discrediting, and sometimes seeking to destroy, in a political sense.
GOP Congressman Devin Nunes looks to be the next one up. The House Intelligence Committee Chairman recently endured an assault carried out by means of partisan political hyperbole.
While former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and ex-CIA Director Mike Morrell have both said they have not seen any evidence to support the Democrat meme of “the Russians colluded with the Trump campaign,” this is in no way deterring Democrats from stoking the narrative flames anyway. It seems clear now, at least for the present, that they have set their duplicitous sights on Nunes.
In a recent briefing with reporters, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lowered the decency bar a notch further, referring to Nunes as a “stooge for the president of the United States.”
Most of the liberal Democrat’s mainstream media counterparts are piling on Nunes as well, with demands for him to step down from his chairmanship position and to additionally have some kind of outside investigation into the supposed Russian connections with the Trump campaign.
Why the all-out verbal onslaught against Nunes? It is because of the recent disclosure by the chairman, via a news conference, of new evidence provided to him by sources inside the intelligence community, which shows members of the Trump transition team were improperly monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies following the November election.
Nunes said that he had seen and read reports, which indicated that Obama administration intelligence officials had “unmasked” several Trump transition team members who were swept up in surveillance.
In other words, officials in the Obama administration had wrongfully revealed and disseminated the identities of U.S. citizens, who were caught up in otherwise legal surveillance of foreigners but whose identities should have legally remained masked.
“What I have read bothers me and I think it should bother the president himself and his team, because I think some of it seems to be inappropriate,” Nunes told reporters.
“There seems to me to be some level of surveillance activity, perhaps legal, but I don’t know that it’s right,” Nunes said, adding that he wasn’t sure “the American people would be comfortable” with what he himself had read.
The law allows the NSA to monitor the communications of foreign targets. If the foreign target happens to be in contact with a U.S. citizen, the NSA is permitted to legally proceed with what is called “incidental collection.” However, the agency is required to redact or “mask” the name of a citizen. The name can only be unmasked for compelling intelligence reasons.
The critique of Nunes by the Democrats and their mainstream media allies focuses on the following:
1. Nunes’s recent disclosure having been made without first notifying committee Democrats;
2. Nunes’s having briefed the White House on the newly exposed evidence.
The House Intelligence Committee Chairman apologized to Democrat committee members for the apparent break with protocol of not notifying Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff and his fellow committee members before going public. Nunes did not, however, apologize for providing the newly revealed evidence to the White House, nor was he obliged to do so.
Nunes said that the “unmasking” of names of individuals in the reports was a development “significant” enough to warrant his briefing the president as soon as possible. The chairman told Fox News that he believed he had a “duty and obligation” to inform President Trump.
Curiously, the strategic assault on Nunes began weeks before he had told the press about the new information acquired.
Back in February 2017, after Nunes rightfully questioned the legality of the surveillance that had led to then-national security adviser General Michael Flynn’s resignation, left-wing groups proceeded to organize protests outside of Nunes’s California congressional office.
On the same day Nunes shared the new revelations with the media, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer let the public (including Democrats) know in advance that the intelligence chairman would be briefing the president.
“My understanding is that Chairman Nunes is coming to the White House later to brief the president on this [Nunes’s new information] development,” Spicer said.
South Carolina Congressman and Intelligence Committee Member Trey Gowdy defended Nunes’s decision to brief the president, pointing out that the material about which Nunes had told the press bore no connection to any ongoing investigation involving President Trump.
“My understanding is Chairman Nunes briefed the commander in chief on matters unrelated to the Russian investigation,” Gowdy said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “So if the commander in chief cannot be briefed by the chairperson of the House Intel Committee on a matter that has nothing to do with the FBI investigation, then I don’t know what they can talk about.”
Gowdy concisely added, “He’s the commander in chief.”