“Obstruction of Justice” will surely go down in history as one of the defining phrases of 2018 and maybe the Trump administration in general. The list of those, including the President himself, who may eventually face such charges keeps growing by the day.
You can go ahead and add Rep. Devin Nunes (R. CA) to the growing list as well, according to a former White House ethics counsel.
Norm Eisen is warning that Nunes – the chair of the House Intelligence Committee – may have opened himself up to obstruction charges if he indeed worked with the White House to create a memo smearing the FBI’s Russia probe.
The Daily Beast reported earlier that Nunes is refusing to deny that he worked with White House staffers to write the infamous and misleading memo implying that the Justice Department acted improperly in extending surveillance of Trump campaign staffer Carter Page, who was later revealed to be a foreign agent.
Sr. Fellow at Brookings and CNN Commentator responded to the article saying:
“Whoa,” Eisen wrote, “Nunes’s speech and debate clause Congressional immunity may not protect him from liability for conduct outside Congress.”
He continued: “Depending on the facts, Nunes may have put himself in middle of a conspiracy to obstruct justice. He better beware: There r no secrets in this White House.”
Congressional Immunity law states that members Congress can not be prosecuted while “attending a session of the body to which the member belongs, excluding an arrest for treason, breach of the peace, or a felony.” It also provides immunity from arrest or interrogation “for any speech or debate entered into during a legislative session.”
However, neither of those provisions would likely apply to members working with another branch of government to obstruct justice. And that could be where Nunes gets into hot water.