GOP intel chair forced to admit he lied to his own committee to spread FBI smears


Rep. Devin Nunes has been caught deceiving his own colleagues in the House — all to protect Trump.

From the outset of House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes’ proclamation that he had a “memo” detailing purported surveillance abuses against Donald Trump at the FBI, it was clear he was working to undermine the Russia investigation to protect Trump.

In his effort to persuade the White House to declassify the document and release it the public, Nunes tricked his committee into voting on one version, and then rewrote it, according to the committee's ranking Democrat, Adam Schiff.

On Wednesday evening, Schiff sent a letter to Nunes about the "highly troubling" bait and switch.

"After reviewing both versions, it is clear that the Majority made material changes to the version it sent to the White House, which Committee Members were never apprised of, never had the opportunity to review, and never approved," Schiff wrote.

Schiff said it is clear the committee's Republican majority "no longer stands by the representation it made to House Members in the original document and felt it necessary to deceive Committee Members during Monday’s vote,” and that this means “there is no longer a valid basis for the White House to review the altered document.”

Nunes' spokesman insisted the changes were just “grammatical fixes and two edits requested by the FBI and by the Minority themselves.” Democrats insist they did not request the changes and that they were not, in fact, simply cosmetic.

But as CNN correspondent Manu Raju notes, even Nunes’ response still confirms that the memo submitted to White House officials for redaction and release is not the same memo that was voted out of committee.

For one thing, both other members of Congress and the FBI itself quickly confirmed the memo was full of omissions, conspiracy theories, inaccuracies, and right-wing talking points. And for another, when the Intelligence Committee's Republicans voted Monday to release the memo to the public, they blocked the release of Schiff's memo, which refutes Nunes' central arguments.

Former CIA Director John Brennan blasted Nunes and his hyper-partisanship.

“I had many fights with Congressional Dems over the years on national security matters,” Brennan said. “But I never witnessed the type of reckless partisan behavior I am now seeing from Nunes and House Republicans."

Nunes' underhanded tactics make it very clear he is weaponizing a major investigative committee to protect Trump — and his credibility should be judged accordingly.