Hometown newspaper editorial board: Nunes ‘doing dirty work’ to protect Trump
The Fresno Bee, the newspaper of the largest city in Rep. Devin Nunes’s California district, ripped the Republican lawmaker in a scathing editorial this week.
In the piece, the Bee’s editorial board refers to Nunes as President Trump’s “stooge” and criticizes him for prompting GOP attacks on the FBI with a classified memo that Republicans have latched onto as potential proof of political bias in the FBI.
“[Nunes] certainly isn’t representing his Central Valley constituents or Californians, who care much more about health care, jobs and, yes, protecting Dreamers than about the latest conspiracy theory,” the editorial board wrote. “Instead, he’s doing dirty work for House Republican leaders trying to protect President Donald Trump in the Russia investigation.”
Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, drafted the memo, which purports to detail surveillance abuses by the Obama administration as well as political bias in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the presidential election. House Republicans have been clamoring for it to be released.
Democratic members of the committee who have seen the memo claim it is full of “inaccuracies” and uncorroborated information. The #ReleaseTheMemo campaign on Twitter was found to be pushed by large numbers of Russia-linked bots.
The Department of Justice warned Nunes not to release the memo, saying it would be “extraordinarily reckless” to do so without having it reviewed by FBI and Justice Department officials given the classified information.
The Bee’s editorial calls Nunes’s performance as House Intelligence Committee chairman “nothing short of embarrassing” and accuses him of colluding with the White House to protect Trump rather than taking Russian interference in the 2016 election seriously.
The Bee also expresses intense skepticism about the memo, and writes that it is “ironic” that the GOP is working to “undermine” trust in the FBI. The memo has been criticized as a distraction from Mueller’s investigation.
“Now we’re supposed to believe some Republicans that there’s some kind of anti-Trump ‘secret society’ within the FBI? It’s ridiculous,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote.
“Everyone — Republicans, Democrats, advocacy groups on all sides and the media — should do our democracy a favor: Stop with the hyperventilating and let Mueller finish his investigation and get to the truth.”