His wounds are self-inflicted, but there’s no denying that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes is having a tough time of it. His mishandling of the committee’s ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election has triggered calls for him to surrender leadership of that probe – and even to give up his chairmanship entirely - from Democrats, Republicans, opinion leaders, and major newspapers. Here’s a sampling:
- “Nothing he did last week served the nation’s best interests…Americans can distinguish between a hard-nosed fact-finder and a surrogate who shares information with a White House under FBI investigation.” - The Editorial Board of The Fresno Bee, Rep. Nunes’ hometown paper.
- "I think there needs to be a lot of explaining to do. I’ve been around for quite a while and I’ve never heard of such thing.” – Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
- “If anything has shown that we need a commission, this has done it by the way he has acted. That's the only way you can bring integrity to the process. The integrity of the committee looking into this has been tainted." – Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC).
- “If he’s not willing to tell the Democrats and Republicans on the committee who he met with and what he was told, then I think he’s lost his ability to lead. My belief is the House is off track and probably can’t get back on track.” – Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
- “I believe the public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the President’s campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the Chairman.” – Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
- “If Nunes steps down as chairman, he can quickly transition from part of the problem to part of the solution. He can make a powerful statement that mistakes have consequences, and public officials still have the integrity to acknowledge their own shortcomings. He can clear the way for an investigation untainted by his own errors. His own power and his own position are not worth the ongoing loss in public confidence. It’s time for Nunes to go.” – David French, staff writer for the National Review.
- “If the Republican Party wants to do what is best for this country and its national security, they will remove Devin Nunes as Intel Chairman.” – Joe Scarborough, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and a former Republican congressman from Florida.
- “His role as a committee chairman is to carry out responsible oversight of intelligence matters. Instead, he used his position to distract attention from the crucial question of whether Mr. Trump’s election was aided by collusion with an adversary.” – The New York Times editorial board.
- “Nunes’ bad instincts undermine public confidence that his panel can conduct such an inquiry…Congress must show it’s capable of following this path of suspicion, whether it leads nowhere or to the Oval Office. That requires putting the inquiry in the hands of people with reputations for integrity and independence, not administration apologists.” – USA Today editorial board.
- “Mr. Nunes’s antics serve only to underline the urgency of a serious, nonpartisan and uncompromising investigation into Russia’s interference in the election and any contacts between Moscow’s agents and the Trump campaign…It is time to discuss the formation of an independent, nonpartisan commission with full subpoena power, like those that investigated the attacks of 9/11 and the intelligence failures in Iraq. In the meantime, House leaders should put an end to the embarrassing travesty being directed by Mr. Nunes.” – The Washington Post editorial board.
- “Rep. Devin Nunes is unfit to investigate a jaywalker. He should be a target of investigation himself…The inability of the House to conduct an independent and thorough inquiry could not be more clear…If Nunes refuses to step down, House Speaker Paul Ryan should replace him. We need an investigation, not a whitewash.” – The Chicago Sun Times editorial board.
Office: Common Cause National
Tags: Congressional Ethics