Dispatch March 12, 2018

The House Intel Committee Proves It’s Part of the Cover-Up

The House Intelligence Committee says it is wrapping up interviews related to the Russian probe just days after new reporting revealed that a Trump associate lied to the committee.

From the very beginning House Republicans have used their control of the Intelligence Committee to run interference for President Trump rather than investigate a foreign adversary’s attack on America’s democracy.

  • Closing up shop just as new questions arise: Representative Devin Nunes, the chair of the House Intel committee, was a member of Trump’s transition team, yet has involved himself in an investigation into secret meetings between other associates of the President and Russian operatives. Last week, the public learned new details about one such meeting as The Washington Post reported that Erik Prince may have lied to the House Intelligence Committee about attempting to set up a secret backchannel to Russia during the transition, based on the grand jury testimony of the man who helped set up the meeting. Prince continues to insist that the meeting was a chance encounter.
  • Creating one distraction after another to shield Trump: With Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s support and protection, Nunes oversaw an “investigation” designed to draw attention away from the increasingly obvious evidence of Trump and his campaign’s wrongdoing.
    • First came the “unmasking” stunt stirring up a nonsensical controversy about the Obama administration—during which Nunes shared intelligence with Trump, the subject of the committee’s investigation.
    • Then, there was “#releasethememo,” a weeks-long sideshow attacking Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Justice Department for investigating a likely Russian asset, with Ryan providing cover by claiming the memo had nothing to do with the Russia investigation.
    • Finally, Republicans on the committee leaked messages from Senator Mark Warner, the ranking Democratic member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, to Fox News in an obvious attempt to try to smear the Senate’s legitimate efforts to secure a witness. Ryan’s response: Not my committee, not my problem.
  • And there’s more: The committee continually refused to issue subpoenas for information on Trump’s finances that might have actually helped America learn the truth about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, preferring to investigate the source of funding for the Steele dossier and right-wing conspiracy theories like Uranium One.

While the Committee is wrapping up its interviews, important questions remain unanswered. For example, we still don’t know:

  • Who was lined up to finance the Trump Tower in Moscow in 2016?
  • Did Russian social media targeting efforts in any way mirror those of the Trump campaign or Cambridge Analytica?
  • Did parties affiliated with Russia underwrite any of Deutsche Bank’s loans to either the Trump Organization or Kushner Companies?
  • Did Kushner discuss receiving loans from Vnesheconombank (VEB) or its subsidiaries when he met with Sergey Gorkov during the transition?

Shutting down the investigation now and claiming “no collusion,” as the evidence mounts, just demonstrates this investigation was always part of the cover up.