Friday, February 09, 2018 by JD Heyes
In yet another sign that Americans and their representatives are becoming inconsolable and hyper-politicized, Republicans in charge of the House Intelligence Committee — which used to be one of the least politicized in Congress — are considering a physical partition to separate GOP and Democratic staffers over growing mistrust.
The idea has emerged following the release last week of the “FISA memo,” a four-page document revealing serial abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by Obama-era Democratic partisans in the FBI and Justice Department who were opposed to Donald J. Trump becoming president.
As reported by the Washington Times:
While office partitions are common across the Capitol, the House and Senate Intelligence committees traditionally deal with some of Washington’s most sensitive national security information and thus were known to try to operate above the partisan fray.
The current House Intelligence committee, however, has been ground zero for partisan Congressional skirmishing in the Russian election-meddling saga.
And let’s be very clear about that: It has been Democrats who have hyper-politicized the committee, the same way their hero Obama hyper-politicized the upper echelons of the FBI and DOJ.
The latest example of partisanship on the Intelligence Committee comes in the form of ‘competing’ memos: After the panel voted along party lines to release the FISA memo (Republicans control the House so they control all of its committees), which was written by GOP members including Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., Democrats on the panel under ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., now want to release their version of the facts.
What’s telling is that not a single Democrat or Left-leaning media partisan is refuting anything in the FISA memo — that there were serial abuses by the Obama administration of the FISC in order to obtain a warrant to spy on Trump campaign official Carter Page over his alleged ‘ties’ and ‘collusion’ with Russia (no evidence of which has been produced, even after more than a year’s worth of investigating).
But they want to release their own “memo” that, predictably, will alter facts and change the narrative. (Related: Obama knew! Damning texts surface that name Barack Obama in corrupt exoneration of Hillary Clinton and her illegal email server.)
As for Schiff, he’s been implicated by President Trump and others as being one of the sources of media leaks to Democrat-friendly outlets such as CNN, the Washington Post, and The New York Times.
So it makes sense that he would be critical of the Office of Congressional Ethics’ investigation into staff over alleged leaks to media, which is very likely leading to increased tension between the two sides. In reacting to the news Schiff called the probe a “terrible mistake.”
“While we have more than our share of difficulties, the important oversight work of the committee continues with our staff working together irrespective of party. This would be a very destructive decision.”
Of course, the way it would be truly “destructive” is if the ethics office found what many suspect it will find — leaking, and by Democratic staff (and at least one leading Democrat on the panel).
At least one Democrat sees danger in the rising partisan rancor on one of the House’s most important committees when it comes to national security, at least.
“When Devin and Schiff get over this battle they’re talking about right now, it will be right for our country for those two to work together in a bipartisan way,” said former Intel Committee member Rep. C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Maryland. “These are some of the most dangerous times our country has ever faced.”
Ruppersberger is right about that, but to partisans like Schiff, protecting his party and trying to gain more power are more important than security.
J.D. Heyes is also editor-in-chief of The National Sentinel.