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By dsnottselliott
Friday Sep 08, 2017 · 3:54 PM

Reading about Rep. Devin Nunes’ latest stunt in yet another terrific diary from ursalafaw earlier today got me to thinking.
From where I sit, Nunes has been engaged in some serious Obstruction of Justice.   We had that bizarre sequence of events this spring with him going in & out of the White House and then tossing weird crap onto the wall of public opinion trying to get something to stick — something/anything that would discredit any investigation by his (or anyone else’s) committee to look into team Trump’s dealings with Russia & Putin.  It was embarrassing enough that he was sidelined by the House Leadership.  Alas, he wasn’t actually removed from his position as head of the House Intelligence Committee.   He led people to believe he was recusing himself from the matter but we learned during the summer that he hadn’t actually done so.   He sure as hell didn’t give up his power to direct activities of committee staff, allocate financial resources or subpoena powers.
If the stuff this spring wasn’t bizarre enough, we then learned that without letting anyone else (apparently even other Republicans on his committee) knowing he sent a couple of wannabe goons to London to try and corner Christopher Steele.   To no one’s (except perhaps Nunes) these guys were no match for a trained intelligence operative and never got so much of a glimpse of the guy, much less a meeting to try and intimidate him into silence.   Whatever James Bond fantasies those guys had (with Nunes imagining himself as “M”) they were nothing more than a joke.
Now, I’m sure Nunes would argue that he wasn’t trying to obstruct anything, much less Mueller’s investigation and was only doing some freelance investigating of his own.   And if anyone believes that he was only trying to get to the truth I’ve got comp. suite in the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City and a million dollars of chips for you.  But a good defense lawyer might make a good enough case that Nunes wasn’t actually trying to obstruct his own committee, or any other investigation with that stuff.   However, this past week we’ve learned about his threat to AG Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Wray to have them held in Contempt of Congress (which comes with jail time) if they don’t hand over a bunch of stuff related to Steele and the infamous “dossier.”
That’s an actual threat — communicated in writing and officially.   And if I understand things correctly he didn’t bother with first simply asking for cooperation & access to certain work product of the DOJ (including stuff that Mueller is using FBI resources to investigate) but demanding it via subpoena.   Take that along with his earlier behavior and it sure looks like a pattern of conduct to me — a pattern to try and at least throw sand in the gears of the Trump/Russia investigation.
Maybe I’m nuts, but it looks to me like he might has well have hung a neon sign around his neck saying “Hey Mueller — Investigate ME!”  Now, it’s possible that Nunes is trying to provoke Mueller into doing something that he & the GOP could “spin” into a call for Mueller to resign or be fired.  After all, if Mueller had anyone on his team have a chat with Nunes about his actions/activities or especially if Mueller were to issue a subpoena or two of his own Nunes/the GOP would scream to high heaven that he (Mueller) was interfering with the workings of Congress and/or “unfairly targeting” critics.  I don’t think Nunes is smart enough to come up with such a strategy but unfortunately there are those in the GOP that are that smart and devious.  Or it could simply be a not well thought out means of giving Sessions (and Wray) legal & political cover to turn over work product that Mueller isn’t ready for targets of his inquiry to know about — to help them & their legal teams prepare and/or coordinate stories.  Or “accidentally on purpose” destroy evidence.
I think though that it still places both Sessions and Wray in an awkward position, especially since the former has legal problems already.
In any case, I think Mueller is savvy enough to not take the bait.  He’s got plenty in the public record regarding Nunes stunts, and with this letter now in the public realm Mueller (to me at least) has more than enough to quietly prepare an Obstruction case against Nunes to be presented down the road when events have proceeded to the point that the Trump administration is toast.  I hope so because Nunes deserves to wind up in jail with the rest of the gang.

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