I may be getting a bit ahead of myself as I write this article on a Tuesday morning where the news is dominated by anticipation of the State of the Union Address, but an “action in process” has me really concerned. Let’s explore.
Monday the House Intelligence Committee voted to release a classified memo prepared by Committee Chair Devin Nunes’ staff. The vote, not surprisingly, was along Party lines. Joining the Californian Nunes were Mike Conaway and Will Hurd of Texas, Peter King and Elsie Stefanik of New York, Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey, Rick Crawford of Arkansas, Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, Tom Rooney and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Mike Turner and Brad Wenstrup of Ohio along with Chris Stewart of Utah.
Word is still leaking out so the information is incomplete, but it appears several of the above had to be bullied into voting for the release of the memo. That is no excuse! As members of Congress they are supposed to have the best interests of the nation at heart and be strong enough to follow the courage of their convictions.
The memo is coming out under Nunes’ signature. It is a selective “book review” of classified documents (placate me and think “books”) that Nunes himself never read. Furthermore the Republicans on the committee will not allow other members of Congress to read the classified documents that the memo purports to represent. It’s like a jury going into deliberation after a conversation full of hearsay but without hearing the evidence.
Obviously the entire charade orchestrated by the only when it is convenient to him recused Chairman Nunes is an attempt to cover Trump with his base. Based on early reports (the memo hasn’t been released at this writing) it appears to be basically a recycling of the long debunked unmasking controversy.
The Democrats on the Committee prepared a rebuttal memo which the Republicans refused to release. I find it difficult to reconcile that decision sans politics.
This entire deception is part of the continued attempt to undermine the credibility of the inevitable report of Trump and his people’s misdeeds. They can’t undo history but they can attempt to get their base not to believe it.
My core concern is not Trump. Someday, somehow we will be rid of him. Trump is a terrible and harmful President as were some of his predecessors (several in my lifetime). Although we are still paying for some of their sins America has survived them and it will most likely survive Trump. Poorer and with much damage to repair, but we will survive. My concern is if intelligence and law enforcement methods and sources were compromised by Nunes’ little stunt.
Although Trump’s base won’t be knowledgeable or cerebral enough to pick things out in the memo, foreign and terrorist intelligence agents may be. Even a friendly nation discerning the revelation of sources and methods is a danger. Let’s say the UK or Israel discovers that sensitive information has been compromised, (and not for the first time during the Trump administration), will they be less likely to cooperate in the future? I think so.
These activities smack of treason to me. The current treason statue was enacted in 1948. It calls for the death penalty or a prison sentence of not less than 5 years along with a $10,000 fine. Treason is a serious felony. I submit that the thirteen Republicans named above could all be guilty along with two enablers: Donald Trump and Paul Ryan. Ryan was the one who negotiated the release of the classified FBI information that the memo’s authors cherry picked. The entire sham is to protect Trump and his organized criminal enterprise.
Monday’s vote gave Trump, (who has already advocated the public release of the memo), five days to OK its release. Trump is relatively talented at playing the news cycle and I assume he will release it subsequent to the State of the Union (or is it Uniom?) when he feels it creates the most advantageous distraction.
While neither the Department of Justice (DOJ) nor the FBI got the opportunity to review the memo, a very senior DOJ official publically stated that its release would be, “Extraordinarily reckless.”
Oh, by the way, Trump unilaterally decided not to impose the sanctions on Russia that Congress legislated months ago. It must be my liberal mind running amok because Trump repeated says there is nothing to this “Trump and Russia thing.”
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