House Intelligence Committee calls it quits, no more interviews on Russia investigation – By Mark Sumner (dailykos.com) / March 12 2018
As threatened last week, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have declared themselves to be done with the pretense that they’re conducting an investigation into the Trump campaign’s conspiracy with the Russian government.
The Republican-run committee is now preparing to write a report based on the testimony of dozens of witnesses and thousands of pages of documents. Republicans and Democrats on the panel are unlikely to come to a bipartisan conclusion on some of the central questions in the probe, including whether anyone from President Donald Trump’s campaign worked with Russians to help tip the election in his favor, according to interviews with multiple lawmakers and aides on both sides.
Democrats would like to interview some of the figures that continue to emerge as important players in the still-unfolding scandal—like Roger Stone protege Sam Nunberg, foreign lobbyist George Nader, or GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy. Democrats would also like to bring back witnesses such as Hope Hicks, Corey Lewandoski, and Steve Bannon, who refused to answer many questions based on the ludicrous idea that Donald Trump can exert executive privilege without actually exerting privilege.
But Rep. Devin Nunes and crew are putting an end to that. Having dragged their feet, derailed the investigation, and refused to issue subpoenas and contempt citations that might get Trump’s staff to talk, the Republicans are packing it in and preparing to put some fresh updates on the “nothing to see here” report that Nunes likely wrote before the first witness appeared.
In March 2017, he said at a news conferences on Capitol Hill that secret documents he had viewed confirmed U.S. intelligence officials had collected information about Trump transition aides while spying on foreign officials, and had improperly disseminated details about the Americans.
It was later revealed that Mr. Nunes got that information from the White House.
That was just one round of Nunes’ effective scheme in keeping the committee from doing anything substantial. And now Republicans have decided they need to stop, before they risk running into actual information.