Devin Nunes is the target of a partisan smear campaign

We still do not know why Nunes’s sources, if they worked in some capacity at the White House, felt they could not report directly to the president. Were they fearful that it would seem in-house investigating, or that their own information would or would not fully support Trump’s tweet? But surely it is important that knowledge of such information is now out, that it will be fully investigated by congressional committees, and that it might set the record straight about hearsay, five months of constant leaking, and media collusion in writing stories based on unidentified sources at intelligence agencies. Fear of all that drives the current frenzy.

If anyone were in Nunes’s position, he or she might doubt that the new Trump administration could fully trust Director Comey or others in the intelligence agencies to provide disinterested appraisals of such information, given that a number of intelligence officials may themselves, in theory, have been involved in the intercepts and their dissemination. He might advise that any possible sources connected even remotely to the White House should have disclosed the existence of such information to his boss. Nor would he necessarily believe that Representative Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) would be a reliable partner on the intelligence committee. Would Schiff remain silent about the true significance of such information while it was being distilled and examined by the committee, given his previous public insistence that the committee had new information incriminating the Trump administration — though to date Schiff has not presented such information or even characterized it?

Some notion of such intrigue, or rather the former nexus between Congress, the Obama administration, the intelligence agencies, and the monitoring of incoming Trump officials, was inadvertently disclosed recently by former Obama-administration Department of Defense deputy assistant secretary and current MSNBC commentator Evelyn Farkas. In an interview that originally aired on March 2 and that was reported on this week by Fox, Farkas seemed to brag on air about her own efforts scrambling to release information on the incoming Trump team’s purported talks with the Russians. Farkas’s revelation might put into context the eleventh-hour Obama effort to more widely disseminate intelligence findings among officials, one that followed even earlier attempts to broaden access to Obama-administration surveillance…