Steve King Just Voted to Subject Americans to “Worse than Watergate”

Devin Nunes has launched the next installment of his effort to undercut the Mueller investigation, a “Top Secret” four page report based on his staffers’ review of all the investigative files they got to see back on January 5. He then showed it to a bunch of hack Republicans, who ran to the right wing press to give alarmist quotes about the report (few, if any, have seen the underlying FBI materials).

Mark Meadows (who recently called for Jeff Sessions’ firing as part of this obstruction effort) said, “Part of me wishes that I didn’t read it because I don’t want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much.”

Matt Gaetz (who strategized with Trump on how to undercut the Mueller investigation on a recent flight on Air Force One) said, “The facts contained in this memo are jaw-dropping and demand full transparency. There is no higher priority than the release of this information to preserve our democracy.”

Ron DeSantis (who joined Gaetz in that Air Force One strategy session with Trump and also benefitted directly from documents stolen by the Russians) said it was “deeply troubling and raises serious questions about the [the people in the] upper echelon of the Obama DOJ and Comey FBI,” who of course largely remain in place in the Sessions DOJ and Wray FBI.

Steve King claimed what he saw was, “worse than Watergate.” “Is this happening in America or is this the KGB?” Scott Perry said. Jim Jordan (who joined in Meadows’ effort to fire Sessions) said, “It is so alarming.” Lee Zeldin said the FBI, in using FISA orders against Russians and facilities used by suspected agents of Russia was relying “on bad sources & methods.”

It all makes for very good theater. But not a single one of these alarmists voted the way you’d expect on last week’s 702 reauthorization votes if they were really gravely concerned about the power of the FBI to spy on Americans.

Indeed, Gaetz, DeSantis, and King — three of those squawking the loudest — voted to give the same FBI they’re claiming is rife with abuse more power to spy on Americans, including political dissidents. Nunes, who wrote this alarming report, also wrote the bill to expand the power of the FBI he’s now pretending is badly abusive.

Even those who voted in favor of the Amash-Lofgren amendment and against final reauthorization — Meadows, Jordan, and Perry, among some of those engaging in this political stunt — voted against the Democratic motion to recommit, which would have at least bought more time and minimally improved the underlying bill (Justin Amash and Tom Massie, both real libertarians, voted with Democrats on the motion to recommit). Zeldin was among those who flipped his vote, backing the bill that will give the FBI more power after making a show of supporting Amash’s far better bill.

In short, not a single one of these men screaming about abuse at the FBI did everything they could do to prevent the FBI from getting more power.

Which — if you didn’t already need proof — shows what a hack stunt this is.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including Vice, Motherboard, the Nation, the Atlantic, Al Jazeera, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse in Grand Rapids, MI.

24 replies
  1. James says:

    It’s worse than Watergate because those a-holes probably still adore Nixon and think Watergate was nothing.

    • Trip says:

      Nunes wrote the bill and the report. If the top secret report that he wrote was so shocking, why did he write the bill? It makes zero sense.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Many thanks. Important to have this hackery documented. The memory hole seems to be metastasizing over at the MSM.

  3. seedeevee says:

    A free press is a good thing – whether or not you agree with who “benefitted directly” from it or from where truthful information comes from.

  4. Trip says:

    They have a Republican president who could declassify the whole shebang, and release it. Then Nunes could rewrite the bill, instead of playing “I know a secret that you don’t, OMG the sky is falling, but I won’t tell you, because Democrats”.

    Hidden agenda, maybe:

    “I believe the consequence of its release will be major changes in people currently working at the FBI and the Department of Justice,” he (Matt Gaetz) said.
    So really, it’s not about making policy and legislative changes, but instead it’s about replacing the FBI and DOJ employees with loyalists, and continuing the same system ripe with abuses only with a different squad?

    • bell says:

      fbi or doj employees are partisan? lol.. who whudda thunk it? at least we are temporarily moving on from the ”russia ate my lunch” conversation, to one that i think is worthy of much greater scrutiny..

      • Trip says:

        That seems to be what the GOP is saying. But they offered only innuendo, in act two of the cloak and dagger Nunes play. Have they had an emergency meeting about changing the legislation they wrote, rather than marching toward delegitimizing Mueller?

         

        • SpaceLifeForm says:

          Wondering same. Are they telegraphing to potus that he should veto?

          Is this charade just about political cover?

          Perhaps they all need a timeout in the corner for a few days or dozen. Shutdown tonight?

  5. Rapier says:

    Well of course he did. Representing the sometimes lovely NW corner of Iowa, encompassing the unusual Loess Hills and the Missouri River valley. He spends his time and life raging against, well whoever. It’s a sad life.

  6. SpaceLifeForm says:

    The gang that can’t vote straight. Nor investigate well. Why would anyone believe this Nunes concoction?

    Before it was Snowden, now it seems to be Mueller. Or did. New intel come in last day?

    https://www.emptywheel.net/2016/09/19/hpscis-snowden-report-inexcusably-shitty/

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/16/is-whistleblowing-worth-prison-or-a-life-in-exile-edward-snowden-talks-to-daniel-ellsberg

    ES says thousands, not over a million docs.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Maybe so. USG Whistleblower speaks.
      (almost like TSB, but not likely same)

      https://medium.com/@usgwhistleblower/us-congress-ignores-whistleblower-who-raised-national-security-concerns-8bba575ee78

      The USG Whistleblower is saddened by your kakistocracy disgracing our homeland. The USG Whistleblower is annoyed because of the swamp full of braggadocious throttlebottoms!

      The USG Whistleblower sent certified letters to Congress and emailed multiple congressional staffers. The only flimsy response is that the Congressional Committee Chairman announces his retirement. USG Whistleblower emailed five Congressional committees, across all three branches of government, exhibiting nonpartisan violations of law, rule, and regulations, gross mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, and substantial and specific danger to public safety. All resulting in baffling silence.

      … [bunch]

      Executive Branch Department, the Department in which the USG Whistleblower is employed, a Whistleblower is the decoy and your Executive Branch proved your guilt and incompetence when you choose to constantly retaliate against a USG Whistleblower instead of protecting the American people. Hidden Agendas, Corruption, Misuse of Power, and Arrogance — to name a few — served you, NOT the American people. American tax paying dollars pay your salaries and unfortunately continue to pay your corruptness.

      The ignorant “what difference does it make” phrase from a Senior Government official clearly demonstrates the incompetency hovering the DC Swamp like a thick fog. Perhaps Congress should stop being a grumbletonian thwattling snollygoster and protect our National Security, the safety of the American people, and those who have the courage to come forward as a USG Whistleblower. And anyone who naysays this letter is merely an addlepated ultracrepidarian!

      Sincerely,
      USG Whistleblower

      P.S. Congress, if the Government Shutdown occurs, do not fret. As an American citizen and Federal employee, the USG Whistleblower will not let politicization interfere with the USG Whistleblower’s right to notify Congress of threats to our Nation. The USG Whistleblower took an oath to protect America, domestic and abroad, and the USG Whistleblower does not recall in the oath any sub clause referencing “lay down their arms” thus not protecting the nation under a government shutdown.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Should someone tell the Don that an election victory is not a pardon for past crimes, nor is it a get out of jail free card for past bad acts, individually or legally?

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