When John Oliver coined the phrase "Stupid Watergate" he couldn't possibly have known just how perfectly he'd capture the entire spectacle of the Trump administration and its toadies in the Republican Party colluding with Russia and desperately looking for ways to end the investigation into that collusion. In just the last 48 hours leading up to what is supposed to be the triumphant release of the "secret memo" that is going to finally give the White House the ammunition it needs to get rid of that pesky Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the wheels are rapidly coming off the poorly-planned operation.
First, Devin Nunes once again proves he is the worst secret agent of all time:
The Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee refused to answer when a colleague asked him if he had coordinated his incendiary surveillance memo with the White House, The Daily Beast has learned.
During Monday’s contentious closed-door committee meeting, Rep. Mike Quigley, a Democrat, asked Nunes point-blank if his staffers had been talking with the White House as they compiled a four-page memo alleging FBI and Justice Department abuses over surveillance of President Trump’s allies in the Russia probe.
According to sources familiar with the exchange, Nunes made a few comments that didn’t answer the question—initially saying that “as far as I know,” he did not collaborate with the White House on the memo—before finally responding that he wouldn’t answer it.
Considering Nunes' previous shenanigans where he was caught delivering "shocking" information to the White House that had been provided to him by the White House, one would think Nunes would have learned to lie a little bit better. If Nunes is in fact working for the White House again (hint: he is), in order to provide Trump with an "independent" reason to end the FBI probe, that would be obstruction of justice.
Second, Nunes altered the memo without telling anyone:
California Rep. Adam Schiff (D) claimed late Wednesday that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) shared with President Trump a "secretly altered" version of the Republican-crafted memo alleging corrosive abuse of United States surveillance powers by the Justice Department.
Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, made the claims in a letter to Nunes, accusing the committee chair of making "substantive" changes to the confidential memo before sharing it with White House counsel for release.
Republicans on the committee are insisting that the changes are cosmetic but then why not inform the committee of the changes as per procedure? Why the secrecy? Nothing suspicious about that. Especially in light of the DoJ, staffed by Trump appointed Republicans, freaking out over the release of the memo as being "extraordinarily reckless". It kind of ruins the "Deep State" narrative if even your own people are saying this is a dangerously stupid thing to do.
We haven't even seen the memo yet and it's so shady, the only people it's going to persuade are people who watch Fox News and they'll believe anything Sean Hannity tells them. Everyone else is going to roll their eyes and wait for the next "scandal" Republicans come up with to distract from the Russia probe if this ploy doesn't do the trick.
In the end, the memo will be released or it won't and it's not going to really matter. Trump is still going to try to use it to justify firing Rod Rosenstein because that's all this was ever about in the first place. Once he's gone (if Trump can work up the nerve), his replacement, picked by Trump naturally, will find all kinds of reasons to interfere with, or simply end, the Mueller probe. If you think Trump or the Republicans will care that everyone knows the memo is a complete fraud, you must still think this is a country that respects the rule of law. Those days are gone until we it take back from the criminals that have illegally seized control of it.