Perhaps you remember a Republican attempt from a few weeks ago to invent a scandal about Sen. Mark Warner. The basic story was that Warner had tried to set up a meeting with bogeyman Christopher Steele of “dossier” fame, and … um, that was about it. It was never quite clear why this might be a scandal, but when your scandals tend to look like a serial killer’s bulletin board I suppose that every little bit helps:
Anyway, Warner is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and as Marco Rubio confirmed, Warner had already told them all about this. It turns out that Warner had sent text messages to Washington lawyer Adam Waldman asking him to arrange the meeting, and Waldman had turned over the texts to the committee. Then, somehow, those texts got leaked to Fox News. But how? Here’s Nicholas Fandos of the New York Times:
In January, one of [Devin] Nunes’s staff members requested that copies be shared with the House committee as well…
Ah. Devin Nunes. Of course. Anyway, it turns out the original texts had page numbers on them, but the copies handed over to Nunes didn’t. Guess which ones Fox News had?
The Senate Intelligence Committee has concluded that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee were behind the leak….Senator Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, the committee’s Republican chairman, and Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat, were so perturbed by the leak that they demanded a rare meeting with Speaker Paul D. Ryan last month to inform him of their findings.
….AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Mr. Ryan, released a statement after this article was published, saying, “The speaker heard the senators on their concerns and encouraged them to take them up directly with their counterparts.”
In other words, Ryan couldn’t care less. And needless to say, Nunes doesn’t care either since he’s the one who leaked the stuff in the first place. This is what the House Intelligence Committee has become: basically an R&D center for producing inane oppo research in service of Donald Trump’s latest conspiracy theories. Nice work, guys.