Republican House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes isn’t even pretending to care about the facts of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Instead, his primary goal seems only to be to obstruct the process.
Following the debacle of the infamous Nunes memo in February, this revelation shouldn’t surprise anyone. But the fact that Nunes is using taxpayer–funded time and resources to attack and disrupt the nation’s top law enforcement agencies should be a cause for outrage.
CNN has reported that Nunes didn’t bother to read highly sensitive Justice Department documents justifying the Russia investigation after he waged a public battle to access them. That effort included threatening to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Last month, Rosenstein finally agreed to allow Nunes and Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy to read the documents with many of the redactions removed, as Nunes had demanded.
Here’s what happened next, according to CNN:
[W]hen the pair arrived at the Justice Department to review the electronic communication, officials were caught off-guard by his next move. Nunes — sitting with a copy of the document in an unopened folder directly in front of him — opted not to read it, according to four sources with knowledge of the situation.
Because, you know, facts don’t actually matter to people like Devin Nunes. Or maybe he just can’t read.
Since then, nearly a dozen lawmakers have made the trek to the Justice Department to read the documents, including Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, who told CNN, “You have to go and read this stuff, you can’t just get briefed by people who are making it their crusade to undermine the investigation.”
The California lawmaker added, “I just don’t understand why they wouldn’t go over and read it themselves. I mean, the Department of Justice is 10 blocks away from here, and it took me 90 minutes to read.”
Nunes has since been pretending he did read the documents, telling Fox Business, “So what we found now, after the investigators have reviewed it, is that in fact there was no intelligence,” referring to the justification for the Russia probe.
Curiously, in what seems like an attempt to become relevant again after she attacked a Parkland school shooting survivor, Fox News host Laura Ingraham grilled Nunes on Friday about why he didn’t read the documents after causing such a fuss.
“Now you’re getting slammed in response by CNN and now others that you asked for these documents and then you, Devin Nunes, have a staffer read them. You don’t read them. So how serious are you? You just want to help the president. You’re not even reading the documents,” Ingraham said.
Nunes dodged the question with the same tactic he always uses when called out on his behavior. “We’re not going to get into the specifics about how we conduct our investigation,” he said. Gowdy, who does know how to read, reviewed the documents, so apparently, Nunes shouldn’t have to. Or so goes Nunes’ thinking.
“You can see the criticism,” Ingraham fired back.