Last night the Republican Party got slaughtered by voters across the nation, in a wholesale rejection of Donald Trump. It’s the kind of shellacking that forces a party to re-evaluate its entire approach, and sure enough, we’re already seeing the first signs of fallout. The House Republicans had been engaging in a duplicitous and arguably illegal strategy to protect Trump by running investigative interference on his behalf. However, newly announced moves today suggest that the GOP has pulled the plug on that entire operation.
Devin Nunes, the disgraced Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was forced off his own committee’s Trump-Russia investigation months ago after he was caught trying to sabotage it on Trump’s behalf. Since that time Nunes has been quietly running his own personal Trump-Russia investigation, for the sole purpose of trying to dishonestly discredit the mounting evidence against Trump. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and the GOP have been allowing Nunes to do this instead of shutting him down, a tacit indicator that they approved of his antics. However that all just changed today.
Nunes has been unilaterally issuing subpoenas left and right for months, and no one has been quite sure what to make of them. Many witnesses have simply ignored the Nunes subpoenas, under the premise that they may not carry any legal weight to begin with. Today the House Intelligence Committee has announced that the Nunes subpoena sent to Glenn Simpson, in relation to the Trump-Russia dossier, has been withdrawn.
Simpson will instead voluntarily testify before the entire House Intel Committee, meaning that both Republicans and Democrats will be able to ask him questions. Various aspects of the dossier continue to be independently verified, giving it more weight in the Trump-Russia probe. It’s why Devin Nunes was so eager to discredit it. Now that effort is being reined in, at least for now. Keep an eye on what happens next with this.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report