Dispatch January 5, 2018

Paul Ryan Goes Full Trump Accomplice

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.

This shouldn’t be all that surprising. As the Moscow Project outlined in a report last month, Ryan has been a Trump accomplice again and again.

Ryan received regular highly-classified briefings on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Ignoring repeated warnings from the U.S. intelligence community, Ryan brushed aside damning information about Trump and his associates, advised and encouraged Nunes to distract from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation, and blocked the establishment of an Independent Commission.

  • In June 2016, Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy met with the Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, who outlined Russian efforts to undermine Ukraine by supporting pro-Russian populist politicians and parties. This led McCarthy to speculate, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump”, which prompted Ryan to say, “No leaks … This is how we know we’re a real family here.”
  • In late August 2016, CIA Director John Brennan began a series of “urgent, individual” briefings for the “Gang of Eight” members, including Ryan, to inform them of Russian efforts to elect then-candidate Trump.
  • Ryan said that Mike Flynn’s conversations with Sergei Kislyak were “entirely appropriate” and within his “job description.”
  • Ryan repeatedly rejected calls for an independent commission and investigation, maintaining that Nunes’ House Intel Committee was enough.
    • Ryan again declined to support an independent Russia investigation after Flynn’s resignation in February 2017.
    • On May 10, after the president fired Jim Comey, Ryan told Fox News that he didn’t think an independent commission was “a good idea” because he thought “the intelligence committees are the ones that should do this.”
  • Ryan was informed by Nunes about his unmasking charade before it was launched.
  • Later, Ryan defended Nunes as he tried to torpedo the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation by focusing instead on Trump’s fabricated wiretapping allegations.

For more on Trump’s accomplices, read our report here.