Marek Warszawski

Rep. Devin Nunes has crazy conspiracy theories. At Mueller hearing, whole country heard them

Nunes at Mueller hearing: This is ‘last gasp’ of Russian conspiracy theory

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-CA, made an opening statement during the House Intelligence Committee hearing with former special counsel Robert Mueller on July 24, 2019. Citing findings in Mueller's report was public, he called the hearing "political theater."
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Rep. Devin Nunes, R-CA, made an opening statement during the House Intelligence Committee hearing with former special counsel Robert Mueller on July 24, 2019. Citing findings in Mueller's report was public, he called the hearing "political theater."

Devin Nunes must’ve forgotten he was speaking for the record on Capitol Hill instead of blathering on his own podcast or chortling with his back-slapping buddies on Fresno radio.

There’s no other way to explain the claptrap that our congressman uttered during Wednesday’s Robert Mueller hearing in Washington, D.C.

Opinion

Based on zero factual evidence, Nunes feebly attempted to turn the tables on the proceedings by accusing the Democrats, rather than President Trump, of conspiring with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

“They’re right, there is collusion in plain site — collusion between Russia and the Democratic Party,” Nunes said.

Nunes can get away with this stuff on his podcast or the Ray Appleton Show because he knows no one will challenge him. That isn’t the case when the Tulare Republican finds himself under the national media glare.

As quite a few reporters and pundits have pointed out, the notion that Democrats colluded with Russia to help defeat Hillary Clinton just so they could turn around and undermine Trump’s presidency is absurd on its face.

The only place where that kind of twisted tin-foil logic makes sense is on Fox News. Which, not-so-coincidentally, is spouting the same talking points.

In fact, The Daily Show produced a video that showed Nunes parroting the words of Fox News host/resident conspiracy theorist Sean Hannity.

Those of us who live in Nunes’ district already know the guy is bat guano nuts. Wednesday, the rest of the country got a fresh reminder.

“Devin Nunes spins more fairy tales than Hans Christian Andersen,” former CBS news anchor Dan Rather said on Twitter.

If Nunes was an effective Congressman, if he actually cared about or did anything for the people of his district, then perhaps his fairy tale spinning would be a little more tolerable. But all the guy cares about is raising money for his next reelection campaign, no matter if he has to sue fictitious cows to raise his profile.

Which makes voters in California’s 22nd District look like a bunch of rubes for sending him back to Congress every other year.

Perhaps there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Politico reported this week that Trump met with Nunes to go over names of potential replacements for Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. There have even been suggestions Trump could tap Nunes for the post.

My three-word reaction to this bit of news: Dare we hope?

Yes, that’s being selfish. Nunes could do a heckuva lot more damage to this country as a national intelligence director than as a congressional back-bencher.

But at least we’d be rid of him. Barring an upset in November of next year, it’s either that or wait until the district boundary lines are redrawn following the 2020 census.

The sooner the better.

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Marek Warszawski writes opinion columns on news, politics, sports and quality of life issues for The Fresno Bee, where he has worked since 1998. He is a Bay Area native, a UC Davis graduate and lifelong Sierra frolicker. He welcomes discourse with readers but does not suffer fools nor trolls.
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