The concept of “recusal,” or “judicial disqualification” refers to abstaining from participation in an official action, such as a legal proceeding, due to a conflict of interest of the presiding court official or administrative officer. Over the past several months if Americans weren’t hearing, ad nauseam, about collusion and treason regarding the pro-Russians in the White House, they have heard “conflict of interest” regarding nearly everything related to the Trump, his family, his cabinet, and his campaign.
It is curious that there have not been more calls for the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes (R-CA), to recuse himself from leading an investigation into the Trump and Russian collusion; and not because Nunes is a Republican investigating a corrupt Republican. No, it is because Nunes held an executive position in the Trump’s transition team that in a fair system would automatically disqualify the liar from investigating the Trump and anyone remotely related to the Trump.
Something that was hardly mentioned directly after Republicans on the “committee” railed against the intelligence community for doing their jobs, and then suggesting that journalists doing their jobs should potentially face charges was why Nunes is involved at all. There have been some calls for Nunes to recuse himself, and none more emphatic than Keith Olbermann who used Trump’s media outlet, the Twitter, to say:
“This is very simple: @DevinNunes must resign from the House Intel Committee immediately, and surrender himself to the FBI for questioning.”
Mr. Olbermann makes a good point. This is particularly true since David Corn with Mother Jones reported that Nunes blatantly lied to reporters about having any knowledge whatsoever of the Russian conspirators either in or closely related to Trump and his campaign.
Mr. Corn asked Nunes after the committee hearing about Trump campaign’s pro-Russian advisers Roger Stone and Carter Page because both men are “key figures in this investigation.” And, both Trump cohorts are widely reported to have had direct contact with the Russian hackers themselves and the Russian ambassador. Nunes, like his boss in the White House, lied like a true Trump and said “I don’t know those people.”
Of course Nunes knows those people and he knows he was lying. As reported by Jen Hayden, less than a month ago Nunes admitted that Trump “dispatched [him] to combat the idea of appointing a special prosecutor to investigate” the collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign. There is no doubt that Nunes definitely knew who Roger Stone, Carter Page, and Paul Manafort were.
On or around February 27 Nunes confirmed that he was one of the Republican lawmakers the Trump enlisted to shut down a story in the New York Times. In that NYT’s report, besides mentioning Russian operative Michael Flynn, it specifically talked about “former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and former campaign aide Carter Page, as well as Trump’s associate Roger Stone.” At the time Nunes said he saw nothing untoward in being tasked by Trump to “combat” a story about Trump associates he claimed on Monday he didn’t know.
Also on February 27 in an interview with Fox News where Roger Stone and Carter Page, and Manafort, were specifically mentioned, Nunes said that “his committee” would not be part of a “McCarthyism witch hunt.” In fact, for a lying Republican who claims he doesn’t know who Carter Page, Paul Manafort, or Roger Stone are, Nunes said, “He will not subpoena former convention manager Paul Manafort Jr., former advisor Roger Stone nor former campaign consultant Carter Page before his committee after their names appeared in the Times’ report.”
As this author opined a couple of days ago, Republicans like Nunes are going far beyond simple ethic violations like gross conflicts of interest in leading an investigation into Trump; they are colluding to cover up Trump’s treason. Now that it’s been revealed that Nunes lied that he didn’t even “know who those people are” after promising not to issue subpoenas for Stone, Manafort, and Page barely three weeks ago, there is no other reason for lying so blatantly than to conceal the intricate affiliations between the Trumps, the Russians and now congressional Republicans.
At this point calling for Nunes to recuse himself from any Trump investigation is not nearly enough; particularly after assailing the intelligence community and journalists for doing their jobs. Nunes must resign, not just from the Intelligence Committee, but from his position as a congressional representative for lying, conflict of interest, collusion with a corrupt and treasonous president and violating his sworn oath of office. Most Americans are well aware that Trump is as corrupt as the day is long, but now it is apparent that any Republican who is not calling for Trump’s impeachment is as corrupt as he is and every last one of them needs to be summarily removed from office and investigated for their part in covering up Trump’s treason.