Nunes tells donors collusion is a crime — then tells the public it's not


Devin Nunes said Sunday that 'colluding with Russians' is not 'a crime.' He said something very different last month in a private donor meeting.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has a habit of saying one thing at his secretive private events, then saying something completely different when he knows the voters are listening.

On Sunday morning's edition of "Fox and Friends," Nunes mounted a false and absurd defense of Trump, claiming that the probe by special counsel Robert Mueller — which has now racked up 32 indictments and guilty pleas from six people, including four former Trump officials — "is an investigation in search of a crime."

But Nunes didn't stop there. He also claimed that "colluding with Russians" is not "a crime," and suggested that you can't "obstruct" an investigation unless it has already found clear evidence of a crime.

"How do you obstruct an investigation of a counterintelligence investigation, of which you have no evidence that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russians — and if he was, it wasn't a crime anyway," Nunes said.

Obstruction of justice is a crime of its own, however. Many legal experts believe there is already plenty of evidence that Trump obstructed justice, whether or not he was involved in any other crimes.

But Nunes himself recently admitted that collusion can, indeed, be a crime.

At a private campaign event that was secretly recorded in August, Nunes described, in detail, a scenario in which a hypothetical political campaign exploited stolen emails obtained from a foreign power.

If a campaign did that, Nunes told the crowd, "then that’s criminal."

The scenario that Nunes laid out in private is very similar to what Trump campaign officials — including recently-flipped cooperating witness Paul Manafort — were conspiring to do when they met with Russian government representatives at Trump Tower in June of 2016 in order to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton.

But Nunes continues to enable Trump, despite the mounting evidence that Trump or his campaign conspired with the Russians to influence the 2016 election, and the evidence that Trump has brazenly obstructed the investigation into that conspiracy.

Nunes was also asked Sunday if Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should be fired over reports that he may have discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

Nunes replied, "No, for now," adding that it would be "before an election" and before a full investigation could be done.

But Nunes and Republicans have planned all along to wait until after the election to impeach Rosenstein, Nunes admitted in that same leaked August recording.

Republicans have long wanted to punish or impeach Rosenstein for refusing to compromise national security to protect Trump. But, Nunes admitted on tape, Republicans also feared that impeaching Rosenstein might interfere with getting Kavanaugh confirmed before the election — so it would be safer to wait until after November.

Also on Sunday, Nunes continued to press for sensitive documents to be declassified. This move would not only advance Nunes' pro-Trump conspiracy theories; it would also come at the expense of national security.

Devin Nunes has turned lying and covering for Trump into a second career — but with his lies exposed to the public, Nunes could be risking his career in Congress.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.