Republican House Intel Chair Devin Nunes Just May Have Gotten Trump Impeached

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes tried to exonerate President Donald Trump’s unfounded wiretapping accusations against President Obama, but in the process he ended up revealing that the alleged wiretap was legal and done under a FISA warrant, which means the people being surveilled are either foreign powers/agents and or may be involved in the commission of a crime.

So that’s not exactly a win for Nunes or Trump.

Nunes said on Wednesday that Trump might have been wiretapped as a part of “incidental collection.” Nunes said he found these bits but they have nothing to do with Russia, and he feels the president needs to know. (One might think the President would have been briefed but if he, and perhaps Nunes were a part of whatever the concerns were, they wouldn’t have been briefed.)

Nunes said the incidental collection appeared to be “all legally collected foreign intelligence” collected under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The problem with that is a FISA warrant must certify that the “target of the proposed surveillance is either a ‘foreign power’ or ‘the agent of a foreign power’ and, in the case of a U.S. citizen or resident alien, that the target may be involved in the commission of a crime.”

Nunes made things worse by saying “multiple FISA warrants out there” involving Trump.

Nunes said it appears that the subjects were under a FISA warrant during his White House presser, but that he wasn’t concerned that bringing this claim forward would implicate the President or any of his team given that the only way to get a FISA warrant is if the target is a foreign power, agent or may be committing a crime. “No, I think — what this is- this is normal intelligence reporting.”

And yet, Nunes said it was legally collected. Which means one of the above, and none of them are good. Without offering any proof or any claim that this was done illegally, Nunes took refuge in his idea that what he found would bother the American people. Translation: It bothers Nunes, and Trump.

John Schindler pointed out that when one talks to legitimate foreign intelligence targets who are already being monitored, they will be swept up in that collection. This is something I’ve written about quite a bit, as it seems someone who is president would/should know this already. If he was talking to foreign targets, Trump should have known he would be listened to. This is not the same thing as Obama putting a wiretap on Trump at all.

Schindler is also not impressed with Nunes’ handling of this info:

Nunes wouldn’t answer if he thought the collection was political as President Trump claimed, but he instead offered a vague accusation that he thought it was inappropriate. So that’s a no to Trump being vindicated on his baseless claim.

Being caught up in collection is not the same as the former President putting a wiretap on you.

No doubt Nunes is trying to change the subject after he denied ever even hearing of Roger Stone or Paul Manafort.

Nunes was, of course, named to the Trump transition team, which he is saying was wiretapped, in December. So Nunes thinks he just found proof that he, or other members of the Trump transition, were wiretapped.

Multiple sources confirm that Nunes didn’t share his “findings” with Adam Schiff, the ranking Intelligence Committee Democrat. Nunes instead went to the White House with his information, since he felt the President “needed to know.”

One might wonder how Nunes can veer like a drunken sailor from chastising the intelligence community for leaks of incidental collection to leaking alleged incidental collection himself, but then that would require holding Republicans to a consistent standard.

This was a Hail Mary move by Nunes to save Trump’s presidency, and perhaps his own career. It will distract the press for another few days.

But then it will dawn on everyone that if it was collectedly legally under a FISA warrant, this is bad news for Trump. All roads look like they lead to impeachment for this President.

That is not a speedy process, and it has to be done correctly – that is to say, unlike how Republicans operate, the evidence must dictate direction. Justice is slow, but when she gets there, she is brutal.

What Nunes did today was out himself as unfit to run the investigation into Trump’s Russia problem, and that’s not good for Donald Trump or Nunes, because until today, Nunes was functioning as a gatekeeper stopping a real investigation into Trump and Russia.

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