What in the hell happened to Paul Ryan?
Once upon a time Speaker Paul Ryan was a shining star in the federal government. A intelligent, fair minded, politically moderate, conservative policy wonk who seemed to rise above the small minded partisan nonsense that permeates our politics. A man that people could look to as a fair mined arbiter of the latest political brouhaha.
Not any more. Yesterday Ryan joined the ranks of obsequious sycophants in full lockstep with the president’s efforts to destroy key governmental institutions and denigrate the Mueller investigation.
Responding to reporters at the Republican Party Annual Retreat, Ryan offered his defense of the release of the controversial “Nunes Memo.” A memo that according to every news outlet save Breitbart and Fox News is a politically slanted cherry picking of underlying classified documents designed to proffer and biased partisan narrative absent of truth and fact.
When asked about the memo and the prospects of its release Ryan said in part:
“What this (memo) is not is an indictment of our institutions, our justice system…It does not impugn the Mueller investigation or the deputy attorney general…This is about transparency…This is about protecting the civil liberties of the American people.”
Lie, lie, lie and lie.
If Paul Ryan is correct and the release of this memo is about transparency in an effort to protect civil liberties then:
-Why did Devin Nunes refuse to share the contents of the memo with his Republican colleagues in the senate?
-Why did Devin Nunes refuse to share the contents of the memo with the FBI and the DOJ?
-Why did Devin Nunes refuse to allow the FBI Director to brief Nunes’ House committee on the dangers to national security in making public classified sources and methods?
-Why did the Republican majority refuse to allow the Democrat minority’s rebuttal to be released to the public at the same time as the “Nunes Memo”?
-Why did Devin Nunes refuse to answer when asked if he or anyone in his staff co-ordinated with the White House in the compilation or drafting of this memo?
-Why didn’t Nunes take the concerns he outlined in the memo to the appropriate authorities in the Inspector General’s office or directly to the FISA court judge rather than the public domain?
The answer of course is because this is not congressional oversight in the honest pursuit of transparency and the protection of civil liberties. This is in fact a partisan political hit job orchestrated for the singular purpose of protecting the president by calling into question the integrity of the Mueller investigation. A false politically motivated narrative that will jeopardize the integrity of law enforcement and intelligence communities as they work to enforce the law and keep America safe. A politically motivated narrative that will put the lives of sources and agents at risk.
Speaker Paul Ryan looked into the camera and pledged his full support while perpetrating a lie upon the American people.
As I write this the president has announced that he has declassified the “Nunes Memo” and returned it to the House to release it to the public. The damage to the law enforcement and intelligence communities and the weakening of the nation’s national security has begun.
None of which would have been possible without the blessings and support of Paul Ryan.
History will not be kind.