Yeesterday, we learned a lot more about the Devin Nunes sub-scandal. To be specific, we learned that his sources were White House Counsel Michael Ellis, Ezra Cohen (a young acolyte of Michael Flynn at DIA) and National Security Council lawyer John Eisenberg.
Most of my guesses/theories/suppositions about this strange affair have been borne out. I was not entirely right, but I got fairly close to the truth.
1. I said that there is a pro-Trump faction within our intelligence community. Clearly, the actions of Ellis and Cohen bear this out. They must have had help from "on high," for how else would they get hold of those intercepts? We need to know how they got access.
2. I said that Nunes was being "double bubbled." (If the term confuses you, you didn't read the post I wrote two days ago. Scroll down.) Yesternight, Chris Hayes said that a face-saving story about Trump's tweeted accusation against Obama was being "laundered" through Nunes. That's pretty damned close to the way I called it.
3. I said that the Trumpers would gin up evidence against Obama. This would seem to be the purpose of the Nunes drama. The intercepts may have been real; Nunes was led to interpret
them as evidence that Obama had done something malign. I'd dearly love to know how the evidence was presented to Nunes.
What I still can't get a handle on is the Ryan factor.
After learning what he learned, Nunes went to see his ostensible boss, Paul Ryan. Obviously, Nunes should
have spoken first to Adam Schiff. The fact that Devin Nunes did not do so tells us that he is a partisan creature above all else.
After visiting Ryan, Nunes then went back to the White House to brief Trump on what he learned. It seems very likely that Trump knew about those intercepts all along.
Did Ryan tell Nunes to brief Trump? I believe so, even though Ryan denied this claim in an MSNBC interview he conducted yesterday. However, in that same period, Trump sent a message telling the political world to watch a specific Fox News program in which a host -- who seemed to be drunk -- called for Ryan's resignation.
Trump denied that this tweet was intended as a not-so-veiled threat to Ryan. Nonsense. Of course it was. This administration operates on threats and blackmail.
I believe that Ryan lied, that he did
tell Nunes to brief the president. Something about that briefing made Trump furious at Paul Ryan; alas, we don't know that that something
Why did Trump react that way?
Folks, we need a "Theory of Ryan." Ryan learned something from Devin Nunes that set off a remarkable chain of events. But what?
The other stunning news was Michael Flynn's offer to tell his story in exchange for immunity. Ever since I learned about this offer, I've gone back and forth in my mind: Should the Justice Department take the deal?
It all comes down to one key question: Is Flynn truly going to turn on Trump, or is he going to use the occasion to spew some sort of nonsense placing the blame on the Clintons?
Not many minutes ago, Trump tweeted
Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!
As always, Donnie reveals more than intended.