Breitbart News Senior Editor at Large Peter Schweizer joined SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily to talk about House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and the controversy over government surveillance in the 2016 presidential campaign.
“The controversy has erupted because he has seen intelligence reports that indicate that there was not direct monitoring per se on Trump Tower, but there were apparently people that were being monitored by U.S. intelligence, and that led to them capturing intelligence or communication from people in Trump Tower,” Schweizer explained. “Nunes read these reports. He shared that information with the White House. He’s talked about it publicly. And now, Alex, there are people including Congress saying he must recuse himself from any issues related to this matter.”
Schweizer thought that was a “ridiculous position.”
“This is not a prosecution. This is not a judicial matter. This is a congressional oversight matter, and Nunes is doing his job. That’s really what he’s doing,” Schweizer argued. “For people to say that he cannot now be involved in any deliberations involving this strikes me as very odd and ridiculous. If members of Congress were required to recuse themselves of any matter that they had talked privately with somebody else about or there was some conflict of interest, the vast majority of congressmen would never be able to do anything.”
“The thing that people need to know is that in this particular case, it’s not a judicial inquiry. This is not a question of determining whether laws were broken. This is an intelligence committee oversight looking at this particular matter. I think Nunes has not demonstrated anything that would require him to recuse himself at all,” he said.
“What you’re going to get is, you’re going to get questioning. Both sides, every member, gets an opportunity to ask questions, so it’s not like the chairman can muzzle anybody,” Schweizer pointed out. “It’s unclear at this point, but it’s possible that there may be a written report that is released. If there’s classified material involved, obviously, they may not release all of it, but again, that is a matter that includes all members of the committee. The chairmen by themselves can’t decide and say, ‘We’re going to exclude this person’ or ‘We’re going to exclude that part of the story.’”
“It’s not a judicial inquiry. Recusal is really about that. It’s about obtaining justice and concern that the prosecutor, or let’s say the FBI investigator involved in the case, has some reason or motive in this judicial process, this legal matter, to tip the scales or to avoid certain evidence,” he said.
“In the case of Congress, you’ve got people on the Senate Armed Services Committee that hold hearings on, say, the next fighter jet or the next project involving the Boeing corporation – and some of those guys own Boeing stock. There’s no requirement, and those people don’t recuse themselves at all, and that’s a case where you have a very clear and direct conflict of interest,” he noted.
“So to me, a lot of this is just hyped-up partisanship. They don’t like Nunes. They don’t like the approach that he’s taken on this. I just think the recusal call should be ignored,” Schweizer said.
Peter Schweizer is a senior editor at large for Breitbart News, president of the Government Accountability Institute, and author of the best-selling Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.
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