Well, he was asked, outright, by a colleague if he consulted with the White House, while putting together his 4-page mystery memo.
I brought you that story earlier. When asked by a Democrat colleague if the White House had consulted with him on his memo, Rep. Devin Nunes refused to answer.
It would seem a simple question. It would also seem that if the answer was “No,” he’d say “No” and be done with it.
For some reason, he couldn’t, and that may be a problem.
According to Norm Eisen, former White House ethics counsel for the Obama administration, Nunes may have opened himself up for obstruction charges, if he worked with the White House in an attempt to discredit the FBI and interfere with the Russia investigation.
Whoa—Nunes’s speech and debate clause Congressional immunity may not protect him from liability for conduct outside Congress. Depending on the facts, Nunes may have put himself in middle of a conspiracy to obstruct justice. He better beware: There r no secrets in this White House https://t.co/wD1atYgtR3
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) January 31, 2018
Yes. I know the words “…Obama administration…” especially when combined with the word, “ethics” sends some of you into twisting, hissing fits. That would be my natural reaction, as well, but the man isn’t calling it a certainty. He’s suggesting it may be a possibility, given what we know, so off with the partisan glasses and just consider where we are and what we know.
The Congressional Immunity law states that members of the U.S. Congress cannot be prosecuted while they are “attending a session of the body to which the member belongs, excluding an arrest for treason, breach of the peace, or a felony.”
The law also provides immunity from arrest or interrogation “for any speech or debate entered into during a legislative session.”
Neither of those provisions would seem to apply to members working with another branch of government to obstruct justice.
The law also states, however, that the immunity applies “to activity taken in the course of legislative fact-finding.”
So is Nunes covered? If he did work with the White House to put together a memo meant to create maximum havoc on the reputation of the FBI and Justice Department, thus casting the Russia probe as illegitimate, can he get a pass if there’s evidence gathered from the administration to back up the claims?
It’s hard to say, since the memo, just like the activities Nunes engaged in back at the beginning of 2017, when he sought to verify Trump’s baseless tweet about wiretapping, was done on his own, without consulting with his committee.
OH – his early 2017 mission was determined to be a case of his working with the White House, as well, so…