Sunday, May 5, 2019

the last book I ever read (The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump by Andrew G. McCabe, excerpt fourteen)

from The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump by Andrew G. McCabe:

By the afternoon of May 17, Rosenstein had confirmed his agreement to hold a briefing for the Gang of Eight about the Russia investigation. He had also made the decision to appoint a special counsel and taken steps to do so. The FBI team had already set up the briefing, for five o’clock that day, so it was a good thing he was on board. At the Capitol, on the House side, they walked me down to the SCIF, in a basement floor. Some of the Russia team was waiting for me there. The senators and congressmen started straggling in, each with one or two aides—mostly staff directors—and then Rod showed up with a couple of his people. Now that the Gang of Eight was a crowd of two dozen in the room, I thought, the chance of this not getting back to the president was basically zero. Then Devin Nunes walked in, and the chance was less than zero.

Nunes, a congressman from California and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, had publicly stepped away from that committee’s Russia investigation. In April, just before the House Ethics Committee announced it was investigating Nunes for speaking with the media about classified information relating to the Trump campaign and Russia, Nunes effectively recused himself—although he did not use the word “recuse.” Nunes was suspected of having surreptitiously been given intelligence by presidential aides during a nighttime rendezvous at the White House, information that he then publicized. Look who’s here, I said to Rod. Rosenstein understood. He went to talk to Nunes, pulled him aside. Came back, told me, Nunes is staying, he says he’s not recused from this, he refuses to leave.

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