On Morning Joe today, there was a discussion about Devin Nunes and what appears to be his purposeful methods of trying to cover for the Trump administration.
At one point, Joe Scarborough said if Trump and Nunes had a smoking gun, we’d know the details already. Watch:
I think there’s a lot of smoke here more so than fire. I think if they had information that was damning to the Obama administration, it would be in your newspaper by now. I think they’re bluffing. I think they’re trying to keep attention off the main headlines.
It is hard to argue with him. Trump can quickly release the information Nunes saw to the public. Nunes said it had nothing to do with the Russia investigation and intimated that people’s identities were unmasked unnecessarily, with that information being shared across the intelligence community and possibly with individuals in the Obama administration.
According to Benjamin Wittes at the Brookings institute, the President has the authority to do it:
CAN THE PRESIDENT LEAK CLASSIFIED INFORMATION?
No, says Wittes.
“The president can declassify anything he wants,” Wittes said. “The mere act of the president saying something is a ‘declassification.'”
If President Obama or anybody on his staff played politics with classified information, I will be one of the first people to demand a criminal investigation. But I suspect Trump and team are merely looking to deflect from their problems.