Nunes's recusal a win for transparency, but it's not enough
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The grassroots, people-powered resistance took another notable step forward on Thursday, as Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced he would recuse himself from the congressional investigation into Trump and his aides’ possible collusion with Russia.

Make no mistake, this announcement was a clear win for government ethics and transparency — and while it should be celebrated as a victory, it’s absolutely not enough.

Nunes’s recusal, like Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Tuberville breaks DC self-quarantine policy to campaign MORE’s recusal, makes even more clear the need for a truly independent investigation, including a bipartisan commission and a special prosecutor. With anything less, the American people will never be assured that Trump and his team aren’t compromised by Russia.

Tellingly, in his recusal announcement, Nunes failed to address any substance of the accusations mounted against him, including those outlined in a federal ethics complaint filed by MoveOn.org in late March.

Building on an outcry from MoveOn members and public interest groups across the nation, MoveOn filed a federal complaint with the House Ethics Office against Nunes, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee. The complaint states that Nunes violated the Espionage Act through an “unauthorized disclosure of classified information for blatantly political purposes.”

The American people also made their concerns abundantly clear when more than 240,000 MoveOn members signed a petition to House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBudowsky: Why I back Kennedy, praise Markey Democratic super PAC quotes Reagan in anti-Trump ad set to air on Fox News: 'Are you better off?' Trump lashes out at Reagan Foundation after fundraising request MORE (R-Wis.) demanding that Nunes be removed from the Intelligence Committee, citing serious concerns regarding his lack of transparency and partisan handling of the Russian sabotage investigation.

Nunes’s recusal comes on the heels of growing revelations that he met privately with President Trump and his aides, potentially violating the law and absolutely undermining the impartiality and independence of the investigation.

And it’s not just Nunes — continued reports of likely collusion between Trump’s team and the Russian government, including the active FBI investigation, are growing by the day. Nunes’s recusal reaffirms crucial checks and balances which are the cornerstone of American democracy.

The growing drumbeat of Trump/Russia news — in addition to the FBI investigation, Sessions’s recusal, and Nunes’s recusal — confirms the need for what MoveOn members and the American public have been demanding.

In coming days, MoveOn members will host hundreds of Resistance Recess actions at congressional offices and town halls nationwide, urging their representatives not to normalize this president and his harmful, unconstitutional policies. In the days ahead, MoveOn will launch a public tracking site for every House Republican who is voting to hide the the truth about Trump and his associates’ ties to Russia from the American people.

As long as Trump remains under investigation and as long as he continues to push an unconstitutional and dangerous agenda that includes policies like a Muslim ban, members of Congress have no choice but to pause all Trump-related legislation and appointments until the American people know the results of the thorough, independent investigation they deserve.

 

Jo Comerford is the campaign director at MoveOn.org Civic Action.


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