For the past year and a half we’ve watched House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes bend over backward to try to protect Donald Trump from his Trump-Russia scandal, in increasingly buffoonish and criminal fashion. But it turns out Nunes’ plan was based on the assumption that the GOP would keep the House, or perhaps based on no forward thinking at all, because that plan is rapidly blowing up in his face.
Among numerous other stupid ideas, Devin Nunes decided to bring in a whole bunch of Trump-Russia people and have them testify before the House Intel Committee that they didn’t do anything wrong, so he could push out a report “clearing” all of them, before legitimate investigators like Robert Mueller and the Senate Intel Committee could publish legitimate reports. In so doing, Nunes had these people commit perjury. According to Eric Swalwell, a Democrat on the House Intel Committee, the transcripts of all that testimony are currently locked in the basement of Congress.
Four and a half weeks from now, Adam Schiff will take control of the House Intel Committee, and he and his fellow Democrats on the committee will vote to immediately turn these transcripts over to Robert Mueller. We just saw Robert Mueller’s favorite cooperating witness Michael Cohen plead guilty to having lied to Congress. This wasn’t to punish Cohen; it was to help legally establish Donald Trump’s role in the Trump-Russia election conspiracy.
But when Mueller gets these perjury-filled transcripts from the Trump-Russia players who aren’t cooperating with him, he’s going to swiftly bust them for it. Some of them will immediately cave and cut plea deals against Donald Trump, while others will choose to rot in prison. Either way, because of Devin Nunes’ idiotic plan to have Trump’s people come in and commit perjury, Mueller’s job just got a whole lot easier. So what will happen to Nunes himself?
That’s largely up to Robert Mueller. From where we’re sitting, Devin Nunes’ numerous attempts at sabotaging the Trump-Russia investigation add up to clear cut felony obstruction of justice. But Mueller needs the GOP to stay out of his way while he’s finishing off Donald Trump. Will he risk indicting Nunes, and perhaps rattling the Republican leadership, before he gets to Trump? Or will he save someone like Nunes for after Trump has been taken down?
Only Mueller knows. That said, based on what the House Democrats are now saying, these transcripts aren’t just going to Mueller. They’re also going to be redacted for classified information and then released publicly. Everyone is about to see that Devin Nunes hauled in all these Trump-Russia people and encouraged them to commit perjury. Nunes is about to be torched, politically speaking, by this scandal. His comeuppance begins now. There may be nothing left of him by the time Mueller decides to indict him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report