“House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon went on a tweetstorm Thursday to lay out why he believes Rep. Devin Nunes should recuse himself from investigations into Donald Trump.
Nunes serves as the chairman of the House intelligence committee, and caught criticism from many corners Wednesday for appearing to favor President Trump — whose transition team is part of Nunes’ investigation — rather than fellow Congressional investigators. Nunes shared what he said were new findings about the investigation with the press — and then with the White House — without first speaking with the top Democrat on his committee, Rep. Adam Schiff.
As Willimon put it: “If you are the head of an investigation you do not brief the person who is the subject of that investigation. … That’s the equivalent of a detective briefing a robbery suspect regarding the progress of police work.”
Nunes apologized for his handling of the situation, but to many, including Willimon, it was not enough.
“‘I’m sorry’ doesn’t cut it, @DevinNunes,” the “House of Cards” EP tweeted. “‘I recuse myself’ is the only option. #WhatAreYouHiding? #NunesMustRecuse”
And what did Nunes disclose, exactly? As The Hill explains, he announced that he had seen evidence that U.S. intelligence had come across information on members of President Trump’s transition team while conducting routine surveillance of foreign targets.
Trump — who famously claimed, without offering any evidence, that President Obama wiretapped his Trump Tower office — said he felt “somewhat” vindicated by Nunes’ statement about the surveillance. (Of course, Nunes’ statement Wednesday didn’t refer to Trump Tower, and he and FBI Director James Comey have said there’s no evidence such surveillance occurred. But in fairness, Trump only said he felt “somewhat” vindicated, not vindicated.)
Willimon is an outspoken critic of the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress, and recently called for Twitter to ban @RealDonaldTrump.
Willimon went on to tweet over a dozen reasons why #NunesMustRecuse. Here they are:
1. WHY NUNES MUST RECUSE@DevinNunes was part of Trump's transition team. That alone is disqualifies him from heading any investigation.
2. It's unreasonable to think he could be impartial when he played a central role in forming Trump's administration.
3. Nunes was involved with the Trump campaign well before this, however – briefing Trump on intelligence starting early in the 2016 race.
4. This prolonged support and involvement suggest a high degree of bias. And during the Comey hearing we saw that bias in full force.
5. Nunes attempted to deflect from the FBI's investigation of Trump to put focus on leak & has sought to perpetuate Obama "wire-tap" myth…
6. …despite the fact that the FBI and others in the IC have flatly dismissed Trump's wild accusation as patently false.
7. More egregious than the above, however, is the fact that Nunes has doubled-down on his myth & went to White House to brief Trump…
8. …without sharing whatever supposed intelligence he has with minority members of his own committee. This is blatant collusion.
9. If you are the head of an investigation you do not brief the person who is the subject of that investigation.
10. That's the equivalent of a detective briefing a robbery suspect regarding the progress of police work.
11. There is also the possibility, given that Nunes was on Trump's transition team, that he was among those who were recorded by the IC.
12. The press and other members in Congress need to ask this question directly. If was indeed recorded, no matter the content…
13. …he must absolutely recuse himself, since he is then a subject of interest in the very investigation he is currently heading.
14. That would be a direct conflict of interest. The public deserves to know. Was he recorded or wasn't he? Is he trying to save himself?
15. Even if he wasn't, by going to Trump he has compromised the investigation. Some would argue he has obstructed, which is illegal.
16. In which case he should resign & be investigated himself. At very least, for all the reasons above, he is obligated to recuse.
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