Devin Nunes and Republican Partiality

Devin Nunes (R-CA) is at the epicenter of the political arena as he continues to act as a puppet for the Trump administration. Nunes has been the top political scandal of the last two weeks, dominating all the major news cycles, after the stunt he pulled on the House Intelligence Committee.

Nunes is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which is currently investigating the Trump administration’s ties to Russia due to the allegations that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential elections. He was told by a source that Trump and other members of the Trump team were “incidentally” surveilled by the F.B.I. as part of the agency’s intelligence gathering on foreign targets. Trump responded that Nunes made him feel “somewhat” vindicated after F.B.I. Director James Comey and NSA chief Mike Rogers shot down Trump’s  repeated claims of  “wiretapping” by the Obama administration.

After Nunes supposedly viewed ‘new’ intelligence, he broke precedent in going directly to the president, failing to discuss this new information with the House Intelligence Committee, ranking member Adam Schiff (D-CA).

Seeing as this is an investigation of the Trump administration, how is it appropriate for Nunes to prioritize the one under investigation instead of his own committee? He appears to be acting like a glorified double-agent between the Trump team and the House Intelligence Committee. So as to not undermine its credibility, Nunes should recuse himself from the investigation into Trump and Russia.

Due to a breach of trust by Nunes, Schiff released a statement claiming that Nunes can no longer run a credible investigation due to favoritism towards the president. Schiff held a press conference, during which he urged an independent commission for the investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election. With other members of the Democratic Party calling for Nunes’ recusal, Nunes has made it abundantly clear that he is not interested in stepping down.

Nunes can not be expected to be impartial during this investigation and needs to be urged by his Republican colleagues to recuse himself.

While questions arose on how Nunes received this information, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan stated that it was a “whistle-blower type person.” Despite Ryan’s ‘misinformed’ claims,  the New York Times reported that two White House officials fed the information to Nunes on the “incidentally swept up” report. With Chairman Nunes unofficially doing the bidding of the president, the credibility of the House investigation is at risk.  

It’s becoming a redundant cycle that those close to Trump are beginning to reveal ties to Russia or showing unequivocal bias towards the president. As we continue the first 100 days of the presidency and continue into the House and Senate investigations, members of the Republican Party, especially those in the House Intelligence Committee, need to separate their personal interests with those of the well being of the American people and urge Devin Nunes to recuse himself from this investigation.

About the Author

Erin Clifford
Erin Clifford (FCLC ‘19) is a political science major at Fordham University Lincoln Center. She is currently working as a Production intern at MSNBC and worked as a political consultant back in Los Angeles. As a columnist for FPR, she enjoys writing about the hybridized relationship between media and politics as well as presidential politics. Contact Erin at eclifford3@fordham.edu