Devin Nunes has most of his net worth tied up in a company that does business in Russia

House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes went to extraordinary – and possibly illegal – lengths today when he announced that he had learned from unnamed “sources” that the Donald Trump transition team had been picked up on U.S. intel wiretaps, and that it all had nothing to do with Russia. Nunes is clearly trying to cover for Trump in a manner which goes beyond mere Republican Party lines. It turns out Nunes has his own personal financial ties to Russia which may be motivating him.

Nunes publicly revealed his supposed revelation today without saying where he got it from, without bothering to run it past anyone else on his committee first, and without consulting the FBI first, even though it’s actively investigating the Trump campaign due to its collusion with Russia. He then ran to the White House and briefed Donald Trump on the supposed information, leading to question of how Nunes could have classified information that Trump doesn’t have access to.

The stunt by Devin Nunes was clumsy, risky, suspicious, desperate, and likely to backfire on him. So why is Nunes putting himself at such great risk to try to create a distraction on Trump’s behalf? Let’s talk about the financial business that Nunes conducts with Russia. In addition to being a Congressman, he’s part owner of Alpha Omega Winery LLC. According to the Los Angeles Times he has $50,000 of his own money tied up in the winery, which is remarkable considering that the same report lists his total net worth at just $51,002. In other words, the winery is all Nunes has.

According to Scott Dworkin of the respected Democratic Coalition Against Trump, the Nunes’ winery has a Russian distributor who is close to Vladimir Putin. This means Nunes has the vast majority of his small net worth tied up in a business venture which partially relies on sales in Russia. At the least, Nunes benefits greatly if Trump remains in office long enough to continue repealing Russian sanctions. Is this why Nunes is so desperate to protect Trump? Contribute to Palmer Report

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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report