Natasha Bertrand is one of the people who personally interviewed former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. But the most consequential thing he told her didn’t make the cut of her report at the Atlantic. After tweeting what McCabe said about the meeting in which the Gang of Eight was informed about a counterintelligence investigation into whether the president was under the influence of a foreign power, she tweeted this:
We had to cut this for length, but McCabe told me that his guess is that the White House “immediately knew the steps I took after Jim got fired, and the cases I opened” because of Nunes. “When I was surprised to see Nunes at the briefing, I knew it would happen very quickly.” https://t.co/SnxcSxWLAL
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) February 19, 2019
In other words, McCabe believes that Rep. Devin Nunes—who participated as chair of the House Intelligence Committee—was acting as a mole for the president in the briefings. The steps McCabe took to open an investigation after Trump fired Comey were immediately relayed to the White House by Nunes.
That is not something that comes as a surprise to any of us who have been watching all of this unfold. But it is important that McCabe shares those suspicions. If fits perfectly with Nunes’ history of disclosing classified information whenever it suits his purposes.
For example, Rep. Nunes was the subject of an ethics investigation in 2017 when he held a press conference to announce that intelligence agencies incidentally collected information about some of President Trump’s associates. In January, he became the subject of another ethics complaint.
The complaint, filed by the Campaign for Accountability, …calls on the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether Nunes or committee staff leaked closed-door testimony of the head of the company that produced the bombshell dossier of Russian information on Donald Trump.
Parts of the confidential testimony apparently were “selectively leaked” to discredit Fusion GPS and to “retaliate against Fusion for its role in investigating” Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia, according to the complaint. It alleges the leak further aimed to “deter the firm from engaging in any continued investigation.”
That is why, when reading reports from Trump’s media enablers that are based on transcripts of closed-door testimony that hasn’t been released to the public, my initial reaction is to always assume that the leak came from Rep. Nunes.
I know congressional committees have their hands full these days with investigations of Trump and his administration. But at some point they need to zero in on all the ways that Rep. Nunes has been attempting to obstruct justice.