Devin Nunes' new "unmasking" scandal exposes the corruption within Bill Barr's DOJ | Salon.com

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  pat-wilson  •  3 weeks ago  •  50 comments

By:   Heather Digby Parton (Salon)

Devin Nunes' new "unmasking" scandal exposes the corruption within Bill Barr's DOJ  | Salon.com
Barr's Department of Justice tried to force Twitter to unmask a parody Devin Nunes account

But this is yet another example of the level of partisan corruption throughout the Trump administration — especially in former Attorney General William Barr's Justice Department.

Barr's last-minute refusal to help Trump overturn the election was nothing more than a last-ditch effort to redeem some small piece of his reputation but he continued to do Trump and his allies' dirty work nonetheless. Trump and his henchmen spent years caterwauling about the alleged "Deep State" conspiring against them for political purposes yet at every turn we found them abusing their power to punish their political opponents. Remember, it was Nunes himself who said of the DOJ, "I hate to use the word 'corrupt,' but they've become at least so dirty that who's watching the watchmen?" I guess he knew what he was talking about for once.  


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


I was just wondering the other day whatever happened to Congressman Devin Nunes. During the first two years of the Trump administration, the California Republican was Trump's most loyal henchman, running interference for the White House from within the House Intelligence Committee where as chairman he worked diligently to sabotage any meaningful investigations of the president's curious dealings with Russia during the 2016 campaign. For a time you couldn't turn on the TV without seeing Nunes' doleful, hangdog, visage defending Trump through thick and thin.

Nunes had been a member of the Trump transition and in another era would have had to recuse himself from any of the investigations into Trump and Russia since the transition period was heavily implicated. He did not do that and instead jumped right in and proved himself to be a willing spinner on Trump's behalf, denying that he had any knowledge of calls between Trump's adviser Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. There were indeed calls and they ended Flynn's short tenure as National Security Adviser. It turned out that the White House had requested this allegedly independent committee chairman and others to pooh-pooh the Russia scandal in the media and Nunes, being an eager soldier, did as he was ordered.

But Devin Nunes will likely be remembered for one of the lamest political gambits in history for what's known as his "Midnight Ride."

On March 4th 2017, just a little over a month after Trump took office, he tweeted that Obama had "wire tapped" Trump Tower "just before the victory" and called it McCarthyism. This led to a frenzy among right-wingers to prove that Obama had illegally used the power of the federal government to spy on Trump. The night after Nunes was riding in a car when he got a text message that was so urgent he made the Uber driver stop and he raced over to the White House. He met with a couple of young Trump toadies named Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Michael Ellis, who hysterically informed him that they had found evidence of "unmasking" of Americans' identities intercepted on foreign surveillance calls during the Trump transition. The following morning Nunes held a strange press conference in which he declared "I have confirmed that additional names of Trump Transition Team members were unmasked," and raced to the White House to "brief" the president. Afterward, he held another press conference in front of the White House and told the press that Trump felt "somewhat vindicated" by what he had to say. The press asked him whether he was more bothered by the surveillance or the "unmasking" and he replied that he was especially bothered by the latter. To the question of whether it was appropriate for the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee which was investigating the Russian interference in the 2016 election to rush over to brief the president he said, "the President needs to know that these intelligence reports are out there I have a duty to tell him that."

The thing is, he obviously wasn't telling the White House anything. They had given him the information the night before.

Nunes mumbled incoherently when confronted with his lie the next day saying, "the president didn't invite me over, I called down there and invited myself because I thought he needed to understand what I say and he needed to get that information." Two days later he finally admitted what he did, releasing a statement through his spokesman, but once again declaring his deep concerns about "unmasking" during the Obama administration and insisting that he had been on the trail even before the White House called him over in the middle of the night to show him the evidence.

He eventually recused himself from the investigation without ever really recusing. And it was clear from that point on that nothing the Intelligence Committee did going forward would be kept confidential. Devin Nunes was Trump's man on the inside and there was nothing anyone could do about it. He issued his own highly anticipated "memo" that revealed nothing, called for the impeachment of FBI Director Christopher Wray, flogged the discredited "Uranium One" scandal, railed against the FISA process, and went hard after the Department of Justice, saying at one point, "I hate to use the word 'corrupt,' but they've become at least so dirty that who's watching the watchmen? Who's investigating these people? There is no one."

After the Republicans lost their House majority, Nunes was apparently working on the Rudy Giuliani project to get Ukrainian dirt on Joe Biden. At least that's what Lev Parnas, Giuliani's accomplice currently under indictment, said when it was reported that they had spoken on the phone. And he was suing people who criticized him, from news organizations to watchdog groups and even a fruit farmer who called him a "fake farmer." But his most famous lawsuit was against a satirical Twitter account that called itself "Devin Nunes's Cow" which was, of course, dismissed.

We now know that Nunes's thin-skinned crusade wasn't just his personal folly.

It turns out that he had friends in high places using the full force of the federal government to help him "unmask" another Twitter handle called @NunesAlt another parody account that made fun of the very sensitive congressman. Two weeks after Trump's defeat last November, the New York Times reported this week, the Justice Department got a grand jury subpoena, a unique power that requires no judge to sign off, to demand that Twitter hand over the identity of @NunesAlt. Twitter refused, citing free speech concerns and the fact that despite the government assertion that this person violated federal law by issuing a threat, they could not produce any evidence that they had. The Justice Department under Merrick Garland later withdrew the subpoena.

But this is yet another example of the level of partisan corruption throughout the Trump administration — especially in former Attorney General William Barr's Justice Department.

Barr's last-minute refusal to help Trump overturn the election was nothing more than a last-ditch effort to redeem some small piece of his reputation but he continued to do Trump and his allies' dirty work nonetheless. Trump and his henchmen spent years caterwauling about the alleged "Deep State" conspiring against them for political purposes yet at every turn we found them abusing their power to punish their political opponents. Remember, it was Nunes himself who said of the DOJ, "I hate to use the word 'corrupt,' but they've become at least so dirty that who's watching the watchmen?" I guess he knew what he was talking about for once.


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pat wilson
Professor Guide
1  seeder  pat wilson    3 weeks ago

Bill Barr is a miserable, corrupt piece of shit.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  pat wilson @1    3 weeks ago

And will always be

 
 
 
devangelical
PhD Principal
1.2  devangelical  replied to  pat wilson @1    3 weeks ago

I like it when fat little christo-fascists trash their own reputations and then end up get disbarred.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Masters Participates
1.3  igknorantzrulz  replied to  pat wilson @1    3 weeks ago
Bill Barr is a miserable, corrupt piece of shit.

who lowered all Barrs, Barr Nunn es has, as they both belong behind Barrs serving Bubba'a cock tales from the Crypt tic tok messages Trump took small and shorthand from Putin in his behind th etimes grind ,  with a fine coarse in sand, cause pussy grabbers and back stabbers need buried like grain alcohaulin asz is to they as holes, and heartedly their dearly departure should in no way be their ends to a means, asz they deserve to Be PUNISHED for making a complete mockery of the sanctity of the rule of law in  our country time and time again aided by Putin, and Putin's "men" who ran the 1313 Mocking Bird Lane insane asylum for Mocking Birds, parroting PArrots, Chicks with nice Toucans' SAM's firing at submarines blow the belt felt , all four a Cock ore too Meny, these basturds need to be punished a plenty, asz does the entire GOP who SOLD US OUT , to hold or regain npower and clout, irregardless of the Barrs done without, as they need done in  car serrated edging while runnin with scissors to cut the rules of Lawlessness to their liking, and our disrupted rules of Law where not theirs to be saw like Barrs or Mexican paid for walls that require only cheap Homeopathetic sawz to be obseen and sawed through and threw to the side, the side that did, and continues to be, the side that LIED, while our rule of law continues to be the rule that died   

Trump and his Cump will go down as the worst administration found lost, cause at any cost, they thought THEY were worth what they could never hold a candle to, just lower the Barrs and leave the forever seen scars on US All, all while so many gave so much more with intents pure, it is certainly a sad time in the US when one administration can produce so many a whore, and so much LESS 

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
1.3.1  seeder  pat wilson  replied to  igknorantzrulz @1.3    3 weeks ago

Another verbal art piece !

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

Bill Barr is Steve Bannon with a shave and a haircut and a better vocabulary.  He is an ideological extremist passing as an everyday legal and judicial functionary. 

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
Professor Guide
3  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom    3 weeks ago

Bill Barr exposed himself as Trump's personal cock-womble from day one.  

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
3.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @3    3 weeks ago

Can you please not ever say Bill Barr exposed himself ever again.  I already need eye bleach from reading it the first time.jrSmiley_9_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
3.1.1  seeder  pat wilson  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @3.1    3 weeks ago
Can you please not ever say Bill Barr exposed himself ever again.

My thoughts exactly, hahahahaha

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
3.1.2  Krishna  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @3.1    3 weeks ago
Bill Barr exposed himself

And then there's the strange case of Rudy "Macho Man" Giuliani...

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.2  Tessylo  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @3    3 weeks ago

It appears trumpturd's consigliere is giving lectures now:

The Cause Of Education

''the greatest threat to religious liberty in America today'' is ''the increasingly militant and extreme secular-progressive climate of our state-run educational system.''

This past Friday, former Attorney General Bill Barr addressed the alarming state of affairs in America's school system. He condemned what he referred to as the "secular progressive orthodoxy through government-run schools." I think that we can all admit that it was never a good idea to allow the American left to run our schools. It's been going on in our universities since the late sixties, but now it has infected our elementary school system.

The former attorney general warned the American people:  ''Religious liberty is not safe in the United States as long as we have the kind of public school system we have, the forced monopoly and the indoctrination of children into these radical secular progressive orthodoxies.''

Beyond the obvious war on religious values, which has been going on for decades, Barr also took aim at the more insidious teaching of critical race theory, which is being pursued by the radical left and their allies in the Teacher's Union and the Biden administration. He defined critical race theory as nothing more than:  "Marxism substituting race for class antagonism,''  and added,  "it’s monstrous of the state to indoctrinate students into alternate belief systems."

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
3.2.1  seeder  pat wilson  replied to  Tessylo @3.2    3 weeks ago

"I think that we can all admit that it was never a good idea to allow the American left to run our schools. It's been going on in our universities since the late sixties, but now it has infected our elementary school system."

Just another asshole who can't stop living in the past.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3.2.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Tessylo @3.2    3 weeks ago

Keep 'em dumb and down on the farm

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Masters Participates
3.2.3  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Trout Giggles @3.2.2    3 weeks ago

allow ignorance to rule, and who is actually the fool...?

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
3.2.4  Ozzwald  replied to  Tessylo @3.2    3 weeks ago
''Religious liberty is not safe in the United States as long as we have the kind of public school system we have, the forced monopoly and the indoctrination of children into these radical secular progressive orthodoxies.''

Yup, secularism is the mortal enemy of religious indoctrination.  People are born atheists, you have to hammer in all the god stuff early to get it to stick.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
3.2.5  Krishna  replied to  igknorantzrulz @3.2.3    3 weeks ago
allow ignorance to rule, and who is actually the fool...?

You know the olde saying:

A fool and his mind are easily parted!

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Masters Participates
3.2.6  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Krishna @3.2.5    3 weeks ago

like red, sea...?

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.3  Kavika   replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @3    3 weeks ago

OMG, I need bleach and dark glasses after that.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
3.3.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Kavika @3.3    3 weeks ago

I will share mine with you.

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
Professor Guide
3.3.2  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  Kavika @3.3    3 weeks ago
OMG, I need bleach and dark glasses after that

Sorry guys!!  I didn't realize just how gross of an image that was until now.  *involuntary yuck-shimmy*

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
4  Sean Treacy    3 weeks ago

You guys are so gullible....

"The Trump-era Justice Department’s attempt to identify the person behind a Twitter account devoted to mocking Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California, stemmed from a U.S. Capitol Police investigation into a purported online threat to Senator Mitch McConnell, not to Mr. Nunes, according to two law enforcement officials...

The new information suggests that Mr. Nunes, whose office has not responded to a request for comment, may [not] have had any role in the subpoena"

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1  Texan1211  replied to  Sean Treacy @4    3 weeks ago

yeah, but it was probably more fun for them to pretend that it was something sinister.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
4.2  seeder  pat wilson  replied to  Sean Treacy @4    3 weeks ago

From your link...

On Monday, a federal judge unsealed court filings showing that Twitter had balked at complying with the subpoena, questioning whether it was an abuse of power to go after a critic of a close Trump ally. The social media company noted that Mr. Nunes and his lawyer had filed lawsuits seeking to identify his online critics, including the @NunesAlt account.

Twitter filed a motion to quash the subpoena in March after it sought more information about the basis for it and the Trump Justice Department provided few additional details, like identifying any particular posting that constituted a threat.

The pig Barr abused his power on more than one occasion. That's the whole point. The article stands.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
4.2.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  pat wilson @4.2    3 weeks ago

jrSmiley_13_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Masters Participates
4.2.2  igknorantzrulz  replied to  pat wilson @4.2    3 weeks ago

nicely done

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
4.2.3  Sean Treacy  replied to  pat wilson @4.2    3 weeks ago

That's the whole point. The article stands.

Nonsense. You don't understand the excerpt you quoted.  Let me break it down for you.

PEr twitter, Nunes has filed lawsuits seeking to identify people who slandered him. That's legal!

Per the New York Times, the DOJ filed a subpoena to discover the identity of one critic for threatening McConnell. That's also legal!

Your article, and the Twitter comment, conflate the two claiming the DOJ issued a subpoena to identify a critic of Nunes for criticizing Nunes. As the New York Times makes clear, that never happened.

That's why this story has been ignored since the Times published it's reporting explaining what happened, and why you'll never hear another thing about it.   There's no there, there. The far left media, like Salon, got it's 24 hours of headlines and got it's readership dutifully enraged.  Then the Times did some basic reporting, and the story will go away.  I can't believe readers of Salon haven't copped to this pattern yet. How many times does this have to play out?  

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
4.2.4  seeder  pat wilson  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.2.3    3 weeks ago

After Rep. Devin Nunes failed last summer to force Twitter to unmask several accounts dedicated to ruthlessly mocking the California Republican, the Justice Department took aim at one of the congressman’s anonymous critics.

Court filings unsealed this week revealed that in the last months of the Trump presidency, the Justice Department used a grand j ury subpoena to demand the identity of whoever was behind @NunesAlt, a Twitter account that criticized Nunes, a close ally of former president Donald Trump.

Twitter strongly objected to the November request and filed a motion to quash it, noting Nunes’s own failed legal efforts to reveal the identities of his Twitter detractors.

“Congressman Nunes had previously and unsuccessfully attempted, in several ways, to obtain information about his critics,” a lawyer for Twitter said in court documents . “Twitter was concerned that the Subpoena was merely another attempt by Congressman Nunes to do the same.”

The efforts may have been legal but it was corruption of the DoJ under Barr, period.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.2.5  Texan1211  replied to  pat wilson @4.2.4    3 weeks ago
The efforts may have been legal but it was corruption of the DoJ under Barr, period.

Legal, but corrupt?

LOL

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
4.2.6  Sean Treacy  replied to  pat wilson @4.2.4    3 weeks ago

you are citing another report that came out before the New York Times investigated the story. Again, per the NYT citing officials in Biden's DOJ:

"The two law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it stemmed from an online threat last fall to Mr. McConnell, a Kentucky Republican who was the majority leader at the time, when he drew the ire of liberals by   rushing to confirm Justice Amy Coney Barrett   to the Supreme Court just before the election after the   death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ."

Since the Times reported what happened, the story has disappeared. 

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Participates
4.2.7  evilgenius  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.2.3    3 weeks ago
Per the New York Times, the DOJ filed a subpoena to discover the identity of one critic for threatening McConnell. That's also legal!

From the article (bold mine) - 

Twitter refused, citing free speech concerns and the fact that despite the government assertion that this person violated federal law by issuing a threat, they could not produce any evidence that they had.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
4.2.8  seeder  pat wilson  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.2.6    3 weeks ago
the story has disappeared. 

Not exactly.

800

800

Just accept it, your pal Barr is corrupt AF.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
4.2.9  Sean Treacy  replied to  pat wilson @4.2.8    3 weeks ago

Are you deliberately not understanidn what I wrote? Let's refresh:

"hat's why this story has been ignored since the Times published it's reporting explaining what happened, and why you'll never hear another thing about it.   There's no there, there. The far left media, like Salon, got it's 24 hours of headlines and got it's readership dutifully enraged. "

And your response is to show links to left wing web sites dating before the Times story? And nothing since? And you think that proves me wrong? 

This is done. Just like the Florida woman who claimed she was forced to manipulate covid numbers by the State of Florida. It got it's little play among the angry left and then disappeared once the full story came out.  

 your pal Barr is corrupt AF.

If he was,  he'd be arrested and you wouldn't have to resort to pushing silly conspiracies that disappear as soon as they are exposed to the light of day. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
4.2.10  Tessylo  replied to  pat wilson @4.2.8    3 weeks ago

Everything trumpturd's consigliere did was an abuse of power.  

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
4.2.11  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  igknorantzrulz @4.2.2    3 weeks ago

Yep.  Bagged him and gagged him.

 
 
 
dennis smith
Senior Silent
4.3  dennis smith  replied to  Sean Treacy @4    3 weeks ago

Some will always live in the past. They will have Trump stuck in their brain until their die 

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
4.3.1  Krishna  replied to  dennis smith @4.3    3 weeks ago
They will have Trump stuck in their brain until their die 

Why do you think so many Republicans are still so obsessed with him?

(Many actually believe he is still president-- can you believe that?)

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4.3.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  dennis smith @4.3    3 weeks ago

What about some of your fellow travelers here at NT?

Ever look at some of the trash cartoons a certain poster likes to post?

 
 
 
dennis smith
Senior Silent
4.3.3  dennis smith  replied to  Krishna @4.3.1    3 weeks ago

Because he put America first instead of last as Joey has done.

 
 
 
dennis smith
Senior Silent
4.3.4  dennis smith  replied to  Trout Giggles @4.3.2    3 weeks ago

I have seen trash cartoons form several posters on both sides of the aisle. 

Try not to cherry pick 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4.3.5  Trout Giggles  replied to  dennis smith @4.3.4    3 weeks ago

oh please....

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
4.3.6  Tessylo  replied to  dennis smith @4.3.3    3 weeks ago
Because he put America first instead of last as Joey has done.
jrSmiley_86_smiley_image.gif
trumpturd puts trumpturd first ALWAYS.  

 
 
 
dennis smith
Senior Silent
4.3.7  dennis smith  replied to  Trout Giggles @4.3.5    3 weeks ago

You cherry picked out one poster when there are several who have posted such things. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4.3.8  Trout Giggles  replied to  dennis smith @4.3.7    3 weeks ago

bite me

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
4.3.9  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Trout Giggles @4.3.8    3 weeks ago

NOOO!! Rabies shots hurt.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Masters Participates
4.3.10  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Trout Giggles @4.3.8    3 weeks ago

ok

 
 
 
dennis smith
Senior Silent
4.3.11  dennis smith  replied to  Trout Giggles @4.3.8    3 weeks ago

The truth brings out grade school replies once again.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
4.3.12  FLYNAVY1  replied to  dennis smith @4.3.11    3 weeks ago

If those on the right would start using critical thinking skills, those on the left could move on from monosyllabic verbiage to communicate with. 

 
 
 
dennis smith
Senior Silent
4.3.13  dennis smith  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @4.3.12    2 weeks ago

All the left has is monosyllabic verbiage. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
4.3.14  Tessylo  replied to  dennis smith @4.3.11    2 weeks ago

YOU'RE the one accusing others of grade school replies?

jrSmiley_88_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
4.3.15  Tessylo  replied to  dennis smith @4.3.13    2 weeks ago

Wow, how original!

jrSmiley_78_smiley_image.gif

 
 
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