Republicans (and Russian bots) have been pushing to #releasethememo under the assumption that it will vindicate Trump and undercut the FBI. But if reports about the memo’s contents are accurate, it may do the exact opposite, showing that there was a likely Russian agent on the Trump campaign.
As House Republicans (as well as Wikileaks, Sean Hannity, and Russian twitter operatives) clamor for the release of their own talking points, a few things are becoming clear: This is a political stunt to protect Trump. It has nothing to do with examining the substance of Russia’s interference in the election and everything to do with preemptively dismissing Mueller’s investigation. The efforts of Devin Nunes and his allies are in lockstep with a Russian intelligence campaign. GOP Conspiracy theories keep changing because holes keep getting poked in their ridiculous arguments.
Exactly one year ago, the U.S. intelligence community released a groundbreaking report that in effect said there were two campaigns to elect Donald Trump: the Trump campaign and a Russian campaign. All 17 agencies that make up the IC unanimously concluded that “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election” with “a clear preference” for Donald Trump. In the face of knowledge Russia hacked America’s election—and could very well do so again—the Trump administration still refuses to act. When news of the report first broke, he railed against the intelligence community, attempted to discredit the report and has consistently maintained that a “Deep State” conspiracy of government officials is out to get him. While the report identified many issues for the first time, in the year since its release reporting and public research has since corroborated and reaffirmed the intelligence community’s findings.
There’s only one explanation for Paul Ryan’s behavior: he is working to protect Trump and undermine the Mueller investigation. CNN reported that on Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray met with Ryan to ask him to turn off a subpoena from Devin Nunes and the House Intelligence Committee for sensitive FBI documents that could jeopardize the Russia investigation. Instead, Ryan green-lit a political fishing expedition from the guy who had to briefly recuse himself from the Russia investigation because he was literally coordinating with the White House.
The Department of Justice investigation into Russian meddling into the 2016 election has survived the holiday season and fears that, while the country was distracted, the White House would make a move to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. While Mueller’s job is secure for the time being, his investigation is under increasing pressure as the President’s allies in Congress and the media ramp up their campaign to discredit the former FBI Director. The latest effort is Devin Nunes’s attempt to draft a report on “corruption” within Mueller’s team. This follows a string of similar attempts to sling mud at Mueller, including calls for his recusal or resignation; accusations that the investigation illegally collected transition emails ; and claims from Fox News commentators suggesting the Special Counsel is plotting a “ coup in America ” or an assassination attempt. A very troubling trend is emerging: these are the very same style of tactics used by the Kremlin and other authoritarian governments.