Usually the “Incompetent Elected Official” category comes down to some variety of a conclusion that can be summed up by the sturdy phrase, “What an idiot.” This one is worse than that.
Representative Devin Nunes is chairman of the House committee investigating Russian interference in the Presidential election. This involves intelligence, investigations and secrets that are necessarily a matter of discretion until a final report can be released. No investigation can proceed in a trustworthy manner if every new shred of information becomes public, or worse, is revealed to parties who have a stake in the investigation. This has been understood by members of Congress since, oh, the first Congressional inquiry. The Constitution’s framers assumed that Congress would conduct investigations, just as as the British House of Commons did. James Wilson of Pennsylvania, Convention delegate, a future Supreme Court Justice and the Declaration of Independence signer that “1776” unjustly smears as a weenie , wrote in 1774 that House of Commons members were considered
“grand inquisitors of the realm. The proudest ministers of the proudest monarchs have trembled at their censures; and have appeared at the bar of the house, to give an account of their conduct, and ask pardon for their faults.”
During the First Congress in 1790, Robert Morris, who was the superintendent of finances during the Continental Congress and a financier of the American Revolution, asked Congress to investigate his handling of the country’s finances to clear his name of claimed improprieties. If Nunes doesn’t know the history of the legislative function he is involved in, he should.
Nunes had received intelligence that related to the President’s disputed claim that “he” (meaning who and what, it is unclear) had been wiretapped (meaning surveiled, presumably) by “Obama” (meaning someone who reports to Obama, I’m guessing), and chose to bypass his committee members, Democrats, protocol and common sense by relaying it directly to the White House. The new information, Nunes said, showed that American intelligence agencies monitoring foreign officials may have “incidentally” picked up communications from Trump transition team members, and thus the President’s much maligned accusation was kind-of, sort-of, bolstered.
Predictably, the President followed this good news with a tweet. Ugh.