Sen. John Cornyn confirms Senate Intelligence Committee will investigate both Russian meddling and unmasking by Obama administration
Devin Nunes is now the object of Democrat ire because of his claim that he has seen evidence that presents a possible problem with “unmasking” names of Trump campaign and administration officials by the Obama administration unrelated to Russia.
The allegations are explosive and could open up a wide investigation of Obama administration officials.
That is not what Democrats want, they want investigations focused solely on the as yet unproven claim that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the campaign.
The demonization of Nunes, however, does not appear to reflect reality. Nunes has had a concern about unmasking for a long time, according to CBS News:
As we move into congressional recess, Democrats are organizing a campaign to get Nunes removed as Chair of the House Intelligence Committee.
Already the protests have begun. HuffPo reports, Hundreds Of Angry Protesters Slam Devin Nunes In California:
Some 300 hooting, jeering protesters hit the streets Friday to angrily confront House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) as he visited his district in California’s Central Valley.
“Get out of bed with Trump” and “We need a guard dog, not a lap dog” were among the signs seen and chants heard. Some protesters played the Russian national anthem.
It was Nunes’ first trip to his district since his committee’s investigation into Russian interference into the presidential election — and any links to President Donald Trump’s aides — stalled amid acrimony over Nunes’ handling of the probe and his secretive moves to protect the president.
Nunes spoke on water policy Friday in Fresno at an annual meeting of agricultural lenders. He was quickly ushered in and out of the building through a rear entryway, successfully dodging most of the protesters, according to The Fresno Bee. “Come out and play, Nunes, you coward,” shouted one man with a megaphone, according to The Associated Press.
Robby Mook, Hillary’s former campaign manager, tweeted out a call to action at congressional town halls to remove Nunes:
The attack on Nunes focuses on whether he has followed a proper procedure as a means of deflecting from the substance of Nunes’ claims.
— AM Joy w/Joy Reid (@amjoyshow) April 2, 2017
As Byron York pointed out, this focus on process is part of a strategy, Byron York: 11 key points to remember about Trump-Russia affair:
2) Substance is what matters, Part 2. In recent weeks, a second Big Question has emerged: Did the Obama administration spy on the Trump campaign and/or transition team? That’s the issue at the heart of the Devin Nunes brouhaha, and the answer — did this happen or not? — is more important than where or how Nunes got his information.
It’s unlikely that the deflection on process will work, because Republicans control all the committees in both houses of Congress, John Cornyn: Senate Intel will investigate unmasking, Russian intervention:
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Sunday that the Senate Intelligence Committee will investigate the possibility that U.S. officials unmasked members of President Trump’s White House in a surveillance sweep, as well as Russian meddling in the election.
“Well, I do think they are connected,” Cornyn, who is Senate majority whip and a Senate Intelligence Committee member, said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “And they both will be the subject of our inquiry on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Obviously anytime anybody jeopardizes the privacy rights of an American citizen, and as part of an intelligence gathering process that would be unauthorized, and then leaks that information, that’s potentially a crime. And that’s something we ought to pursue.”
Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, who is also a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, agreed that the question of unmasking needs investigation.
“Yes, absolutely,” said King, on “Face the Nation.” “But I think, you know, that really obscures the much, much larger issue of what did the Russians do in our campaign? How did they do it? Was there a relationship with one of the other of the campaigns?”