Who is Devin Nunes?
California congressman at center of memo controversy
Devin Nunes is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was elected to sit by citizens in the 22nd Congressional District of California. He has held the office since 2003.
The 44-year-old Republican also chairs the House Intelligence Committee and was noted for serving as a member of President Donald Trump's transition team by the Los Angeles Times, shortly after the president's November 2016 election win. He is a graduate of the College of the Sequoias and California Polytechnic State University.
The congressman has found himself in the middle of a massive controversy, which culminated with the Trump administration releasing a four-page memo drafted by Nunes in mid-January 2018, as reported by The Independent.
President Trump is currently under investigation by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, as previously featured with HubPages, for possible connections to Russia. The president has been portrayed as purging those in the intelligence community he perceives as rivals, such as James Comey and Andrew McCabe, former FBI director and deputy director, respectively, as featured with Soapboxie.
Republicans, both politicians and media commentators, have contended that lifelong Republican Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump is somehow unfair.
They underline the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants that allowed investigators to monitor Trump campaign worker Carter Page, who "reportedly had ties with Russian recruiters and sources prior to joining the campaign. FISA warrants allow for electronic surveillance of individuals, including American citizens."
President Trump releases Nunes memo
What is the Nunes memo?
In January 2018, Devin Nunes, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, wrote a memo containing classified information outlining his case that the FBI "abused its power in its investigation of Mr Trump’s 2016 campaign."
A dossier authored by Christopher Steele, which contains salacious aspects, as reported by Vox, is mentioned in the Nunes memo. This dossier apparently led the Republican to conclude that the entire investigation into the Trump campaign is biased. Specifically, because the Steele dossier is listed as a reason, Nunes appears to believe that it could potentially have played a role in the decision by the judge who was willing to issue the FISA warrants, which he and Republicans find suspect.
The full text of the Nunes memo, which was released by the House Intelligence Committee on February 2, 2018, after President Trump was reported to have signed his approval, is available with CNN.
The network is reporting that President Trump has taken part in telephone conversations with "his friends and his allies, admitting to them that he believes releasing this memo will help undermine" Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation.
Dana Bash stated that FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was appointed by President Trump after James Comey's dismissal, had "made clear that he does not want this memo released."
Preceding the memo, CNN included, "The FBI issued a rare public warning on Wednesday that the memo omits key information that could impact its veracity."
Representative Matt Gaetz on Devin Nunes' 'tremendous service'
Could Christoper Wray resign over Nunes memo release?
"Could Christopher Wray resign in protest?" CNN's Bash pondered.
Political correspondent Sara Murray made light of the "raging" debate surrounding whether or not Trump should have taken the unprecedented move of "releasing this memo, at all."
"It gives you a window into the sort of political calculus the president is playing," Sarah Murray continued.
She outlined her perception that the president believes that the memo will prove that the FBI and the Justice Department are "out to get him." Murray suggested that the memo may provide Trump the "fodder to push for an early end to this Russian investigation," and said that the matter appears to be at the "top of his mind," after continuing for many months.
Tony Sciutto, with CNN, noted that the memo details four FISA warrants for surveillance of Carter Page: an initial request and three subsequent approvals. It is also said to question why the judge who issued the warrants wasn't made aware of the funding for the Steele dossier, upon which their issuance was reported to have been at least partly based. Democrats are said to have paid $160,000 for its publication.
In response to the memo, Vox described it as "conspicuously vague on dates in several key places and overall tends to downplay or omit information that doesn’t fit its desired narrative."
U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders tweeted, "The release of the Nunes memo is a blatant attempt by House Republicans and the White House to disrupt the critically important investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign."
© 2018 Stephen Sinclair