Today's scheduled open-hearing of the House Intelligence Committee investigation into Russian interference in our presidential campaign has been canceled by it's Trumpster-nitwit chairman Devin Nunes. The Committee was prepared to hear from former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence Director, James Clapper....and former acting Attorney General, Sally Yates.
Nunes "postponed" the scheduled Tuesday open-hearing last Friday at the end of a very politically damaging week for the Trumpsters. Why did Nunes cancel today's scheduled hearing?....
Nunes said the public hearing was being postponed because the committee needed to first hear from FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers in a private setting.
Like I mentioned, Nunes is a nitwit. He can't even come up with anything close to being believable.
Last week, Devin Nunes performed like a one-man, cover-up band for the sake of Donald Trump's under-siege administration. He chaired last Monday's House hearing, he met clandestinely Tuesday night somewhere on the "grounds" of the White House, was shown something, something by...someone, rushed to tell media about the something, something Wednesday morning, then he informed Paul Ryan, then he informed the Trump White House. Thursday evening Nunes went on Hannity's Fox show to explain that he was helping Trump under the "heat" of brutal media coverage...and on Friday Nunes "postponed" today's scheduled open hearing.
If they handed out subterfuge awards....Nunes, hands down, would be the leading contender.
But the actual truth behind Nunes' cancellation of today's scheduled open-session is to be found elsewhere. Could this be it....
Jeremy Bash, the former chief of staff at Defense Department and CIA under Obama, said Nunes concocted the stunt to shut down the testimony of (Sally) Yates.
“The hearing this week was going to hear from Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general, and I’m told that she had some very interesting things to tell the committee, to tell the public about when she told the White House counsel that Mike Flynn had, in fact, been lying to the vice president,” Bash continued. “She was only going to be able to speak to those things in the context of a congressional hearing, and so the White House and the chairman needed to shut her down. This was an elaborately choreographed gag order on Sally Yates.”
Jeremy Bash was suggesting that last week's nutty behavior by Devin Nunes was all a part of a choreographed stunt to create a pretext for keeping Sally Yates from answering questions in an open hearing. Yesterday, I called Nunes' behavior "fake news creation"....but now it looks like it was fake news creation for the sake of silencing Yates' public testimony.
Whenever there's a complex cover-up in full swing, timelines become helpful....
Jan. 23, 2017: At Sean Spicer’s first press briefing, Spicer said that none of Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador touched on the Dec. 29 sanctions. That got the attention of FBI Director James Comey. According to The Wall Street Journal, Comey convinced acting Attorney General Sally Yates to delay informing the White House immediately about the discrepancy between Spicer’s characterization of Flynn’s calls and US intelligence intercepts showing that the two had, in fact, discussed sanctions. Comey reportedly asked Yates to wait a bit longer so that the FBI could develop more information and speak with Flynn himself. The FBI interviewed Flynn shortly thereafter.
Jan. 24, 2017: According to a subsequent article in The Washington Post, Flynn reportedly denied to FBI agents that he had discussed US sanctions against Russia in his December 2016 calls with the Russian ambassador.
Jan. 26, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informed White House counsel Don McGahn that Flynn had made misleading statements about his late December conversations with the Russian ambassador. Sean Spicer later said Trump and a small group of White House advisers were “immediately informed of the situation.”
My takeaway from those four days is that Mike Flynn must have lied to those FBI agents on Jan. 24th...a felony....and Comey, then, gave Yates the okay to inform White House officials about the potential danger Flynn, and the Trump White House, was then facing. And then, Trump lied, WAPO spilled the info they had, and Flynn was forced to resign....
Feb. 10, 2017: Trump told reporters he was unaware of reports surrounding Flynn’s December conversations with the Russian ambassador.
Feb. 13, 2017: The Washington Post broke another story: Then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates had warned the White House in late January that Flynn had mischaracterized his December conversation with the Russian ambassador, and that it made him vulnerable to Russian blackmail. Later that evening, Flynn resigned.
In the now-canceled House hearing, the testimony of Sally Yates would have posed a grave danger to the White House. I have no doubt that Democratic Intel Committee members, Adam Schiff and Jim Himes, with their prosecutorial questioning of Yates, would have resulted in a mushrooming of that "dark cloud" now hovering over the Trump administration.
I have no idea why Chairman Devin Nunes ever agreed to schedule a public House hearing in the first place, let alone two. Optics, perhaps. The appearance of being "fair", maybe. But I have little doubt now that sometime during Nunes' very active week last week.....Donald issued an order to the Intel chair to, in effect...'shut those goddamn hearings down to the public'.
And like an obedient servant, one who has absolutely no experience with intelligence matters, Devin Nunes slavishly served his Master with his zany and inexplicable antics.
The cover-up expands....and yes, the plot thickens.