It’s long been clear that disgraced House Intel Committee chairman Devin Nunes committed obstruction of justice when he tried to sabotage his own committee’s Trump-Russia investigation by secretly and inappropriately taking evidence to Donald Trump. What’s not been clear up to this point has been whether that infraction would land him on the radar of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. This week we finally got a big hint.
According to the reporting of several major news outlets, Robert Mueller duly informed the Senate Intelligence Committee about the Trump-Russia related arrests of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates before they happened. Mueller was under no legal obligation to do so. Instead it was a courtesy, because that committee is also running a parallel investigation into Russia’s interference in the election on Trump’s behalf. Guess who didn’t get an advance heads up from Mueller?
That’s right, even as Robert Mueller was giving a courtesy heads-up to the Senate Intel Committee, he did not inform the House Intel Committee. There’s only one possible explanation for the discrepancy: he didn’t want Devin Nunes to know, and he couldn’t tell everyone on the committee except Nunes, so he kept the entire committee in the dark. It’s possible Mueller feared Nunes might try to tip off Manafort and Gates about their impending arrests. But if Mueller truly thought they might try to evade arrest, he’d have gotten a different kind of warrant and busted down their doors. Instead he allowed them to surrender voluntarily, meaning he didn’t really think they would go on the lam. That leaves only one other logical reason for leaving Nunes out of it.
That reason, of course, would be that Robert Mueller is investigating Devin Nunes for his role in trying to obstruct the Trump-Russia investigation – and thus he feels compelled to keep Nunes out of the loop about the entirety of the investigation. This doesn’t outright prove Mueller is targeting Nunes; there’s just no other logical explanation. Now we wait to see if Nunes gets indicted.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report