Devin Nunes
Credit: CSIS/Flickr

Recently I wrote about Rep. Devin Nunes’ threats to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt over documents he has demanded from the Justice Department, even though he hasn’t bothered to read the ones that have already been released. I mentioned that we didn’t know anything about the most recent documents Nunes has subpoenaed because they are classified, but Sessions has said that his request is “not grantable.” A subsequent report in the Washington Post tells us why.

For the intelligence agencies, Nunes’s request threatened to cross a red line of compromising sources and methods of U.S. intelligence-gathering, according to people familiar with their views. Intelligence officials fear that providing even a redacted version of the information Nunes seeks could expose that person and damage relationships with other countries that serve as U.S. intelligence partners.

Initially Nunes responded by saying that his subpoena didn’t refer to an individual. That’s not true.

A subpoena that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) issued to the Justice Department last week made a broad request for all documents about an individual who people close to the matter say is a sensitive, longtime intelligence source for the CIA and FBI…

The subpoena, which was reviewed by The Washington Post, demands “all documents referring or related to the individual referenced in Chairman Nunes’ April 24, 2018 classified letter to Attorney General Sessions.” That is the only material the subpoena seeks.

Nunes’ response to DOJ’s refusal to comply with the subpoena is appalling.

“They are citing spurious national security concerns to evade congressional oversight while leaking information to The Washington Post ostensibly about classified meetings,” he said in a statement to The Post. “Congress has a right and a duty to get this information and we will succeed in getting this information, regardless of whatever fantastic stories the DOJ and FBI spin to the Post.”

It is also clear that House Speaker Paul Ryan is still refusing to reign in the rogue chair of the intelligence committee.

On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R.-Wis.) said he had not discussed the matter with Nunes but added that he expected congressional subpoenas to be enforced.

“We expect the administration to comply with our document requests,” Ryan said.

So here’s the situation: we have a president that is under criminal investigation, with congressional Republicans willing to put intelligence assets at risk in order to obstruct the probe. That makes them complicit in whatever crimes the president has committed.

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Nancy LeTourneau

Follow Nancy on Twitter @Smartypants60.