Republicans are helping Trump impede Mueller's Russia probe

Even Paul Ryan is on the side of those who want the investigation hindered

Published January 5, 2018 8:04AM (EST)

Paul Ryan (Getty/Win McNamee)
Paul Ryan (Getty/Win McNamee)

A new report reveals that President Donald Trump has been able to rely on congressional Republican leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan to assist him in impeding the investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal.

The central issue this week was a series of subpoenas by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., for documents pertaining to the Steele Dossier which contained accusations that Trump had been compromised by Russian officials, according to CNN. The FBI considered many of the documents in question to be law enforcement sensitive and, on Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray appealed to Ryan about the remaining requests. Ryan sided staunchly with Nunes, although a compromise was ultimately worked out wherein members of the House Intelligence Committee could view the documents in a Justice Department facility.

Nunes has been under attack in the past for displaying a clear bias toward Trump despite his ostensible role in investigating the president. Last spring he was harshly criticized for manufacturing a scandal about President Barack Obama's national security adviser in order to make it seem like Trump's erroneous claim to having been wiretapped had merit. He was also caught on camera in April telling a group of Republicans that he believed the only reason the Russia scandal was being pursued was that Democrats wanted an excuse for Hillary Clinton's defeat.

Nunes' bias has been further demonstrated by reports that he has blocked Democratic requests to interview key players in the Trump-Russia scandal and has instead tried to cook up a fake scandal claiming a "deep state" plot to undermine Trump. This is in spite of the fact that Nunes was supposed to have recused himself from the investigation last year because of his displayed bias toward Trump.

The ongoing controversy over Nunes' behavior is reminiscent of another recent report, this one involving Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Prior to Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the investigation in March, Trump instructed White House counsel Donald McGahn to contact Sessions and explain why he should remain in charge of the investigation, according to The New York Times. After that effort failed, Trump exploded in front of a number of staffers, arguing that he needed an attorney general who would protect him akin to Robert F. Kennedy, who served as attorney general to President John F. Kennedy.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has also appeared in Mic, MSN, MSNBC, Yahoo, Quartz, The Good Men Project, The Daily Dot, Alter Net, Raw Story and elsewhere.

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Devin Nunes Don Mcgahn Donald Trump Jeff Sessions Paul Ryan Robert Mueller Trump-russia Investigation