FBI and Justice Reach an Unsurprising Agreement With Devin Nunes

Last night, there was an impromptu meeting of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray with House Speaker Paul Ryan. The subject: the refusal of the FBI and Justice to provide documents and witnesses subpoenaed by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and Nunes’ threat to hold both those worthies in contempt of Congress. The meeting was significant because yesterday was the deadline for a response to the Intel Committee’s demand.

There was a lot of glee on the left.

But this didn’t seem right yesterday. Paul Ryan isn’t strong enough to roll Nunes, there is way too much hostility towards the Mueller investigation in the House for that to work. There is the issue of institutional prerogatives. There is no way Ryan is going to let Nunes issue a subpoena and then let Rosenstein and Wray waltz in at the eleventh hour and kill it. That’s a bad sign for other chairmen. And there is basic respect. Justice and the FBI have refused to collaborate with the House in any of the investigations and Ryan has zero motivation for caving for them. Plus, both FBI and Justice are operating without budgets…something Paul Ryan can give them.

Just minutes ago, Devin Nunes issued a statement on the meeting:

Nunes gets the documents. Nunes gets the witnesses.

Rosenstein and Wray weren’t on Capitol Hill to make demands. They were there to negotiate terms of surrender.