WSJ — California Rep. Adam Schiff may not offer much by way of substance, but give him marks for political flimflam. The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee was so successful at ginning up fake outrage over his Republican counterpart that he successfully buried this week’s only real (and bombshell) news.
Mr. Schiff and fellow Democrats spent this week accusing Chairman Devin Nunes of carrying water for President Trump, undermining the committee’s Russia investigation, and hiding information. The press dutifully regurgitated the outrage, as well as Mr. Schiff’s calls for Mr. Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation into possible Russian electoral meddling.
All this engineered drama served to deep-six the important information Americans urgently deserve to know. Mr. Nunes has said he has seen proof that the Obama White House surveilled the incoming administration—on subjects that had nothing to do with Russia—and that it further unmasked (identified by name) transition officials. This goes far beyond a mere scandal. It’s a potential crime.
We’ve known since early February that a call by former national security adviser Mike Flynn to the Russian ambassador was monitored by U.S. intelligence. There’s nothing improper in tapping foreign officials. But it was improper that Mr. Flynn’s name was revealed and leaked to the press, along with the substance of his conversation. The media nonetheless excused all this by claiming one piece of Mr. Flynn’s conversation (sanctions) was relevant to the continuing investigation into Trump-Russia ties.
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