So you’re Devin Nunes and you’re trying like hell to derail the Trump Russia investigation. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, it seems that in his quest to throw mud at the Obama administration, Nunes may have hammered a few more nails into Trump’s political coffin.
Nunes’ investigation into whether the Obama administration employed classified intelligence reports to throw a monkey wrench into the Trump campaign came up empty, with sources saying that there was no indication of anyone in the Obama administration acting improperly. But sources say those reports indicate associates of the Trump campaign may have violated the Logan Act. Written in 1799, the Logan Act prohibits U.S. citizens from negotiating with a foreign government involved in a dispute with the United States.
Russia was under sanctions for human rights abuses and the 2014 annexation of Crimea. And yet, multiple members of the Trump campaign had verifiable contact with Russians who had ties to Vladimir Putin.
The Russian government has denied any meddling in the 2016 election. The Trump campaign has denied any collusion with Russia to sway the election in favor of Trump – even though it is common knowledge that Donald Trump Jr. took a meeting with Russian operatives for the express reason of getting dirt on Hillary Clinton.
“An obvious question is how all these meetings and conversations were set up,” said one of the sources. “Who set them up? What was their purpose? What were the agendas? Who approved them? Who was briefed on them afterward? Signals intelligence might shed some light on that.”
It looks like the documents Nunes is screaming about are about to do the exact opposite of the desired effect of exonerating Trump and smearing Barack Obama and members of his administration. The NSA masks the names of United States citizens caught up in its intercepts, but those with the appropriate security clearances can request them for intelligence purposes. People like Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Special Counsel Mueller is investigating the various meetings and communications between members of the Trump campaign, Russian and other foreign businessmen and officials.
So far, the White House has declined to comment, representatives for Trump associates have declined to comment, and Robert Mueller’s office has declined to comment. That’s a lot of no comments on what is shaping up to be one of the pivotal questions of Donald Trump’s presidency: Did he and/or members of his campaign team collude with Russia to sway the election in his favor? It’s looking more and more like the answer to that question is yes.
Thanks, Devin Nunes. You’ve finally done something useful.