Devin Nunes is committed
by Tom Sullivan
"I thank the gentleman, always, for his remarks," a bemused committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said to laughter in the hearing room after Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), ranking member, completed his remarks after a long day of impeachment inquiry testimony. Nunes hits all his marks during these now-familiar derisive opening and closing speeches before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence: circus, hoax, sham, Star Chamber, three-card monte, con game, Spanish inquisition, story-time-hour.
"Ambassador Sondland, you are here today to be smeared," Nunes said Wednesday morning. He was clearly unprepared for testimony by European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland that implicated "everyone" in the Ukraine arms-for-political dirt scheme, including President Donald Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Rudy Giuliani. "Everyone was in the loop."
In his opening remarks, Nunes listed a series of facts he claimed Special Counsel Robert Mueller failed to prove. Salon sampled a few from what Nunes branded false charges:
“Trump had a diabolical plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow,” he said. (True.) “Trump changed the Republican National Committee platform to hurt Ukraine and benefit Russia,” he added. (True.) “Trump's son-in-law lied about his Russian contacts while obtaining his security clearance,” he continued. (True.)“It's a long list of charges, all false,” Nunes declared of the largely corroborated list of allegations.
Nunes has been at the center of the broader story about foreign influence in President Donald Trump’s Washington. When congressional investigators began probing Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, Nunes made a late-night visit to the White House and announced the next day he’d found evidence of egregious wrongdoing by Intelligence Community officials. The move appeared to be an effort to corroborate a presidential tweet claiming that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. Nunes then stepped back from the committee’s work scrutinizing Russian efforts. Instead, he ran a parallel probe looking at the origins of Mueller’s Russia probe. The undertaking made him a hero to the president and Sean Hannity, and a bête noire of Democrats and Intelligence Community officials. That work was still underway when he traveled to Europe in 2018.Prosecutors from the Southern District of New York last month charged Parnas and colleague Igor Fruman with (among other things) conspiring to violate campaign finance laws by laundering foreign money through straw donors and dummy businesses to U.S. campaigns. Parnas and Fruman, U.S. nationals, sought to “advance the political interests of... a Ukrainian government official who sought the dismissal of the U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine.”
Oh my god. Nunes’ face moments ago. pic.twitter.com/Mku0P491cE— John Aravosis🇺🇸 (@aravosis) November 20, 2019
Nunes' face w/ the curb your enthusiasm theme is everything. #ImpeachmentHearings (credit @WEATHERISHAPPEN) pic.twitter.com/E8ReuAxcZJ— Chippah 🔪the 🔪Rippah (@chipgoines) November 20, 2019