In comments recorded at a closed-door fundraiser, Republican Congressman Devin Nunes admitted that his primary goal is to protect Donald Trump. Not to look for the truth. Not to carry out Congress’s constitutionally mandated role of serving as a check on executive power. But to protect Trump even if—especially if—Special Counsel Robert Mueller returns a report indicating that Trump is guilty of an impeachable offense.
In audio clips that were first played on The Rachel Maddow Show, on Wednesday evening, Nunes makes it clear that he views not just his role, but that of Republicans in Congress, as forming a Big Red Wall to keep justice from touching Donald Trump.
Nunes: If Sessions won’t unrecuse and Mueller won’t clear the president, we’re the only ones, which is really the danger.
Nunes is bluntly saying that if the attorney general won’t end the investigation, and the special counsel actually produces a finding of fact, then Republicans in Congress have to save Trump. When Nunes mentions “danger,” he’s not talking about the danger to the country created by intervention in the US election by a foreign power. He’s not talking about the danger of an executive deeply involved in money-laundering and tax evasion on top of conspiracy and obstruction. Nunes is talking about the danger that Trump will he held accountable for this own actions.
According to Devin Nunes, the biggest reason to vote for Republicans, is that Republicans will safeguard Trump from having to face the consequences of his own crimes. Which is why Devin Nunes should be in every Democratic commercial for the 2018 cycle. The position he represents here isn’t just partisan, it’s capitulation.
Of course, the willingness to do anything for Trump has defined Devin Nunes since before Trump actually arrived at the White-r House. Nunes successfully derailed any investigation of Trump in the House, first by throwing a fit over “unmasking,” which didn’t happen. Then by blocking every single request to subpoena evidence by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee. Then by creating a memo designed to assist Trump in degrading the FBI and DOJ, which turned out to be a complete dud. Then by authoring a report whose entire content boils down to a rehash of every “no collusion” tweet ever issued by Trump … which Trump now uses as proof there was no collusion.
For Nunes, being Trump’s absolute patsy has been profitable, as Trump supporters from outside his district have rushed to fill his coffers. And there’s absolutely no doubt where Devin Nunes lives now. For him, it’s Trump or nothing. Because he’s done not one damn thing to support the people in his district.
In his comments, Devin Nunes may have done both parties a service by making the lines between them starkly clear: You can serve justice, or you can serve Trump.
But you can’t have both.