Last night, at a dinner with a few dozen conservatives hosted by the American Spectator, Devin Nunes expounded on his view that Donald Trump’s campaign is extremely innocent of wrongdoing in the Russia scandal. Nunes, who is of course in charge of the House of Representatives’ putative investigation into this very question, combined strong beliefs about the bottom-line result of Robert Mueller’s probe with a deep lack of curiosity about any of its outstanding questions:
“Now look at who Mueller has prosecuted at this point, and who is left to prosecute for collusion?” he wondered. “I mean, there’s no one left. [Former Trump campaign manager Paul] Manafort would be the obvious guy to think of that was colluding, right? If you could have gotten him on collusion, he would have been the obvious choice. Flynn, I mean, I knew Flynn very very well, and he is not a secret communist supporting Putin. So, they can’t get him on that. So who else do they have?”
Who is left to prosecute for collusion? Well, let’s see. There is Donald Trump Jr., who attended a meeting with a Russian promising to help his campaign, and loved it. There’s Jared Kushner, who also attended that meeting, and had a web of financial relationships and contacts with Russia that he suspiciously failed to disclose. There is Roger Stone, who reportedly knew about the Russian email hacking as early as spring 2016, before it was publicly known.
There is Flynn, who Nunes rules out as a suspect because he is “not a secret communist.” Nunes might not have been told that Russia is no longer a communist country, and there are reasons these days for non-Russians to develop secret relationships with its government, such as money, a thing Flynn was taking on the sly. Plus, there’s Donald Trump, who worked with all these people, and all of whom had strong incentives to keep him apprised of their nefarious work on his behalf.
Nunes does concede that Manafort is not exactly a saint, but concludes that since he has not been charged with collusion yet, he never will be, nor will anybody else. The thing is, though, Mueller is still investigating. Nunes conducted a pretend investigation and concluded he found nothing. It’s almost as if Nunes did not want to find any guilt!