Key GOP Congressmen Tried To Kill Trump’s Russian Influence Story

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They say that the cover-up is worse than the crime. In the case of Donald Trump Russian influence scandal, the cover-up has been perpetrated with the help of the very same Republican lawmakers who chair the House and Senate committees which are supposed to investigate the matter.

The Washington Post reported late last night that “the Trump administration has enlisted senior members of the intelligence community and Congress in efforts to counter news stories about Trump associates’ ties to Russia” — including Rep. Devin Nunes and Sen. Richard Burr.

In an interview, Burr acknowledged that he “had conversations about” Russia-related news reports with the White House and engaged with news organizations to dispute articles by the New York Times and CNN that alleged “repeated” or “constant” contact between Trump campaign members and Russian intelligence operatives.

“I’ve had those conversations,” Burr said, adding that he regarded the contacts as appropriate provided that “I felt I had something to share that didn’t breach my responsibilities to the committee in an ongoing investigation.”

[…] Nunes, who served as a member of Trump’s transition team, has resisted calls for his House committee to investigate alleged contacts between Trump associates and Russia. He said in an interview that after months of investigations, U.S. authorities have turned up no evidence of such contacts.

“They’ve looked, and it’s all a dead trail that leads me to believe no contact, not even pizza-delivery-guy contact,” Nunes said, appearing to rule out even unwitting contact between Trump officials and Russian agents. Investigators, Nunes said, “don’t even have a lead.”

The news follows an explosive Thursday night story that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus unsuccessfully lobbied the FBI to comment favorably on their ongoing investigation of contacts between the Trump campaign/transition and Russian intelligence agents. Friday saw the White House exclude every outlet that has reported on the Russian influence scandal from a press conference.

Clearly, Nunes and Burr cannot be trusted to remain independent. Henceforth, efforts to contain Congressional investigations of the Russian influence scandal to their committees must be seen as further attempts to cover up the scandal. More than ever, we need a genuinely independent investigation.


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