Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, has been called on by many Democrats to recuse himself from the investigation into whether Trump and constituents were in contact with Russia during the 2016 election. The reasoning behind this stems from the fact that Nunes, “is too close to President Trump to conduct an impartial inquiry,” as stated by Democratic representative Adam Schiff and reported by the New York Times.
Schiff also told CNN, “We’ve reached the point, after the events of this week, where it would be very difficult to maintain the credibility of the investigation if the chairman did not recuse himself from matters involving either the Trump campaign or the Trump transition team of which he was a member.”
All of Schiff’s comments, however, have created quite a double standard for himself. He has asked Nunes to recuse himself because of the statement above, yet he never recused himself when he was on the Select Committee on Benghazi.
Why does this matter?
Schiff was a part of the committee that investigated Benghazi, which included examining whether or not Hilary Clinton acted appropriately in the events preceding the attacks. At first this might seem unconnected if you don’t know all the details but Schiff was and is known to be a big Hillary Clinton supporter.
The Los Angles Times quoted Schiff saying, “Proud to support such a brilliant and experienced public servant; with all the national security challenges we face, we couldn’t have a more capable Commander-in-Chief than Secretary Clinton.” The New York Times also reported that during the Benghazi hearings, “Mr. Schiff accused Republicans of pursuing a kind of prosecution against Mrs. Clinton in an attempt to damage her presidential campaign.”
In the long run Schiff has no right to tell Nunes to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation since he didn’t recuse himself nor did the Republican members ask him to recuse himself from the panel investigating Clinton. They are/were both in situations investigating people they supported. If Schiff thought he could be impartial when evaluating Clinton’s actions leading up to Benghazi then why can’t Nunes be impartial in the Trump Russia investigation?
As the New York Times reported when Nunes was asked about whether or not he would recuse himself, “Pressed about concerns from Democrats, he added, ‘That sounds like their problem.’”