This is pretty stunning news. While it was idle speculation leading up to election day in 2016 that Russia was behind the Wikileaks information and engaging in meddling of our election to hurt Hillary Clinton, the intelligence community didn’t confirm the information officially until they issued a report in January.
Now we are learning select members of Congress were briefed in late August about Russia’s attempts to meddle:
The C.I.A. told senior lawmakers in classified briefings last summer that it had information indicating that Russia was working to help elect Donald J. Trump president, a finding that did not emerge publicly until after Mr. Trump’s victory months later, former government officials say.
The briefings indicate that intelligence officials had evidence of Russia’s intentions to help Mr. Trump much earlier in the presidential campaign than previously thought. The briefings also reveal a critical split last summer between the C.I.A. and counterparts at the F.B.I., where a number of senior officials continued to believe through last fall that Russia’s cyberattacks were aimed primarily at disrupting America’s political system, and not at getting Mr. Trump elected, according to interviews.
Here is a piece of information that leads to a serious question:
The classified briefings that the C.I.A. held in August and September for the so-called Gang of Eight — the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and the Senate and of the intelligence committees in each chamber — show deep concerns about the impact of the election meddling.
In the briefings, the C.I.A. said there was intelligence indicating not only that the Russians were trying to get Mr. Trump elected but that they had gained computer access to multiple state and local election boards in the United States since 2014, officials said.
Clearly, one of the eight members of Congress is none other than Devin Nunes.
Obvious question: Why on earth would Nunes agree to be part of the Trump transition team knowing this information?
The FBI already started their counterintelligence investigation a month earlier, so they were privy to information before that Congress did not have.
People can argue Nunes was free to do it because nothing suggested Trump or his team were coordinating efforts with the Russians. So what? Without a complete investigation, why would the Chairman of The House Intelligence Committee allow even the appearance of impropriety?
Nunes had to know Democrats would use this information for political gain and they certainly did:
On Sept. 22, two other members of the Gang of Eight — Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Adam B. Schiff, both of California and the ranking Democrats on the Senate and House intelligence committees — released their own statement about the Russian interference that did not mention Mr. Trump or his campaign by name.
Couple that with Nunes bizarre actions over the last month and it’s no wonder he had to recuse himself from the investigation.