Why is the Department of Justice so reluctant to fully inform House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., about a secret source who has supported special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 Trump presidential campaign?
Because the source’s activities would jeopardize foreign intelligence information, and because publication of the source’s identity would place them at great risk of Russian retaliatory action. Nunes has received a partial briefing on the source, but wants more information that the DOJ is reluctant to provide.
Obviously the investigation of a presidential campaign during an election year deserves robust congressional oversight. It is important that the people retain trust in their institutions of government; especially those authorized to penetrate individual privacy and restrict individual freedom. And whatever you think of the Mueller investigation, it is clear that many Americans — predominantly President Trump’s supporters, but also others, including one federal judge — are concerned about the functioning of these government institutions. It is thus crucial that trustworthy members of Congress can oversee controversial elements of the investigation.
However, I don’t think Devin Nunes fits that bill.
Fortunately, there’s an alternative here that respects Congress’s oversight role. Just brief House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., instead. Widely respected as an upstanding patriot, Ryan retains the intelligence community’s trust and has the clearance level to be briefed on nearly anything under the intelligence community’s purview.
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