History will debate as to which of the two men was dumber: Devin Nunes for writing a memo that did such a poor job of defending Donald Trump that no one involved ended up wanting to release it, or Trump for having tapped Nunes to do his bidding in the first place. Now that the embarrassing memo has become public knowledge and controversy is swirling around it from all sides, Trump and Nunes are passing the memo back and forth like a hot potato – but it’s really a live grenade.
The reality is neither of them wants to release it at this point. They’re both delusional enough to think that the memo’s kindergarten level logic and tinfoil hat conspiracy theories somehow exonerate them both in the Russia scandal. But they’ve both received enough negative feedback from their own side of the fence to understand that it’ll play very poorly if they release it. Yet now that there’s so much public demand to see it, they have to release it, or at least one of them does.
Nunes sent the memo to the White House for review and release. Trump spent the past day saying through his spokespeople that he was going to release it today. Now instead his people are telling CBS News that he’s going to send it back to the House Intelligence Committee so that Nunes can decide when and how to release it.
Donald Trump now wants Devin Nunes to have to take the heat for being the one to release it. Nunes might turn around and hand it back to Trump. They can play hot potato with it all they want. But considering that this memo is a blatantly criminal act of obstruction of justice, it’s a live grenade. It’s going to go off when Special Counsel Robert Mueller subpoenas whoever is holding it.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report