Thursday, March 30, 2017

Transcript: Trump Nunes "Collusion a threat to checks and balances in our democracy" (2 former CIA execs on The Last Word MSNBC)

"Let's go to thirty thousand feet. There's more than just a game being played here. This is a threat to the checks and balances system in our democracy.  There is too much comingling here (Nunes and White House). Congress is there to oversee the work of the executive branch, in a constructive way, not in a way that amounts to collusion to effect the outcome of that oversight.  That amounts to what appears to be collusion and goes to the heart of the checks and balances system in our democracy and is posing a threat to democratic practice in this country." 
-John McLaughlin, former Acting CIA Director, on MSNBC 03/28/2017

Read more Transcripts documenting the coup and attempts to stop it at City of Angels Blog 

LO: John McLaughlin, where does this story stand tonight? What makes sense to you in this story and what doesn't make sense?

JM:  Well there are more things that don’t make sense than things that do make sense,  What makes sense at this point is if we were to add up things we actually know, we know Russia did interfere in our election.
And when you look at all of the things that are going on now that are quite mysterious you're driven to think, it feels like a cover-up. If you were writing a novel about a coverup, it would pretty much look like this.
So I think we're at a point where it's really important to get to the bottom of this. And increasingly I doubt that that can be done through the intelligence committees. 
I think Chairman Nunes’s actions here have pretty much neutralized his committee as an effective overseer. On this issue and perhaps on other issues as well. 

LO: Should the chairman recuse himself or be removed?

JM:  I certainly believe he should recuse himself, but I don't think that that is going to in and of itself make this committee a worthy committee to carry out this investigation.  I've been the subject of congressional oversight for thirty years during my time in government, and I've certainly watched it carefully for ten years since leaving government.  And I don't remember anything quite as bizarre as what we're seeing now. 
I think it's not much of an exaggeration to say that in this case, our oversight system has essentially broken down. Which is a serious thing when you consider that what they're doing here is overseeing the secret activity of the United States.  In an open pluralistic society like ours, it's one of the most important things Congress does.

LO:  Jeremey Bash, Nunes said very clearly in that driveway that he went to Speaker Ryan before going to the White House: 

JB: Well John McLaughlin said correctly that the effect of Chairman Nunes’s actions was to neutralize the committee’s ability to conduct oversight.  But I would go even a step further.  It wasn’t just the effect, it was the purpose
The purpose of his actions was to neutralize the committee’s effective oversight.  Because what was clear after last Monday’s hearing … was a public announcement that the FBI now has Trump’s inner circle under an active FBI counter intelligence and criminal investigation, for coordinating with Russians during the campaign and beyond. 
For coordinating with Russians during the campaign and beyond
And that was an unmitigated disaster for the President and his Allies on the Hill for everything else they're trying to accomplish.  So it would make sense that Devin Nunes would try to slam the brakes, it's just he did it and swerved the entire oversight process out of its lane and really into a ditch.

LO:  What did Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain say about this?

Graham:  The problem that he's created is he's gone off on sort of an Inspector Clouseau investigation . He's not willing to tell the committee who he met with and what he was told and I think he's lost his ability to lead: 

McCain: I think there needs to be a lot of explaining to do.  I've been around for quite a while and I've never heard of any such thing.

LO:  Is that the consensus of people who’ve been around for a while?  You've never heard of such a thing, in terms of the particulars of the chairman’s behavior.  That the Chairman gets some communication that then brings him to the White House in order to examine it, is that something you've heard of before?

JM:  No, that makes no sense. And as I think back over Chairmen that I've worked with of both parties, I can't imagine any one of them doing anything like this. And let's go to thirty thousand feet.
There's more than just a game being played here.
This is in a way a threat to our checks and balances system in our democracy.  There is too much comingling here between the White House and the oversight function of the Congress.
The Congress is there for a reason, it's to oversee the work of the executive branch, hopefully in a constructive way.
But not in a way that amounts or at least appears to be collusion to effect the outcome of that oversight.  And that essentially is going to the heart of our checks and balances system in our democracy and in turn therefore I think posing a threat to democratic practice in this country.

LO:  Included in Nunes’s schedule that day was the two press events with no hint to other members of the committee?

JM:  That violates the protocols, the traditions, and the approach that the intelligence committee has taken since it's history. 
Sure there have been times of partisan scrambling, but nothing where the chairman has purposely thwarted other members of the committee from seeing this information, understanding the basis for an accusation and effective oversight. 

I think what needs to be focused on now are the Seventeen Days. 
The seventeen days between the Time Sally Yates went to the White House counsel January 26th and February 14th, the day that Mike Flynn was forced out.
What happened during those seventeen days?

That's what Sally Yates was to testify about today at the hearing that was supposed to happen today.  


Clip is here:
Titled: Fmr. CIA Acting Director on Nunes: 'It feels like a cover-up' from March 28, 2017 The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell segment with Fmr. acting CIA director John McLaughlin and fmr. CIA Chief of Staff Jeremey Bash, Duration: 15:24)
Transcripts documenting the coup are linked here:
Posted by Kay Ebeling
Fascinated by role Ex-CIA guys are playing in trying to stop the coup

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