Less than a week in the past, the House Intelligence Committee in its Republican majority appeared to be carefully aligned with President Donald Trump and eager on serving to him hinder justice in the Russia scandal. But as soon as the Devin Nunes memo was launched, and now that a number of of the committee’s GOP members are going through potential authorized bother, their tune has all of the sudden modified.
The first signal of this got here earlier this week when the committee voted unanimously to launch the Democratic rebuttal memo in response to Nunes’ memo. Strangely sufficient, each Republican on the committee, and even Nunes himself, voted for its launch.
Nevertheless, maybe the most important signal got here on Wednesday, when Steve Bannon didn’t seem earlier than the committee and claimed he didn’t wish to testify for it simply but, as a result of he prefers to testify for Special Counsel Robert Mueller first.
Surprisingly, the House Intel Committee opted to not have Bannon arrested for contempt of Congress on the spot, and granted him one other week to indicate up According to CNN:
“The House Intelligence Committee’s interview with Stephen Bannon has been postponed at the Committee’s initiative until next week,” Emily Hytha, spokeswoman for Rep. Mike Conaway, the Republican working the committee’s Russia probe, stated in a assertion. “We look forward to having him before the Committee once we can assure that he will be able to thoroughly answer all our questions without concerns regarding the scope of executive privilege.”
“This week, Steve Bannon’s counsel informed the Committee that the White House continues to prohibit Mr. Bannon from testifying to the Committee beyond a set of fourteen yes-or-no questions the White House had pre-approved,” Rep. Adam Schiff of California stated in a assertion, including that the committee “remains united” and that the subpoenas are nonetheless in have an effect on.”
One factor to maintain in thoughts right here is that this isn’t the primary time Bannon has pulled this stunt. Just final month, Bannon spent a complete day earlier than the committee, refusing to reply query after query concerning the Trump-Russia scandal, which prompted the committee to subpoena him this week in the primary place.
Regardless, it appears fairly clear what’s taking place right here. Trump was clearly making an attempt to make use of the committee to lure Bannon into answering these questions earlier than assembly with Mueller in order to arrange his protection. However, as a result of Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have granted Bannon an additional week, permitting him sufficient time to satisfy with Mueller, Trump won’t be able to take action.
Bill Palmer factors out: “So now we know that the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are no longer Donald Trump’s puppets. Trey Gowdy, the most powerful Republican on the committee, now spends his days singing Mueller’s praises. Mike Conaway, the Republican technically in charge of the committee’s Trump-Russia investigation, is just rolling with it. Devin Nunes has clearly lost the ability and/or the desire to serve as Trump’s stooge in the investigation.”
Perhaps they’re sending a message that they’ve lastly had sufficient.