Rep. Devin Nunes last week did enormous damage to the credibility of the House intelligence committee he chairs when he released an inaccurate memo designed to undermine the probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. But according to a new report, the California Republican’s efforts to divide the committee—once renowned for its bipartisan cooperation—are far from over.
CBS News reported Thursday that Nunes’ latest project appears to be the construction of a literal wall to separate Republican and Democratic staff members within the committee’s designated secure areas. The wall, which is expected to be built this spring, would be a physical manifestation of the increasingly partisan fights within the committee. Other Republicans seem to be flat-out mortified by Nunes’ shovel-ready infrastructure plan. From CBS:
“I’m not part of that decision,” said Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas. “You’ve got to talk to Devin. I don’t know what they’re trying to do one way or the other.”
“I swear to God I didn’t know that,” said Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Florida, when asked about the plan. While acknowledging a wall might not be constructive for the committee’s work, he said, “The level of trust and the level of everything down there is—it’s poison. It’s absolute poison down there.”
The wall controversy comes after a year of turmoil on the committee, during which Nunes has been accused of repeatedly seeking to undermine investigations that could be politically damaging to President Donald Trump. Last week, Nunes released a memo accusing the FBI of improperly obtaining a warrant to surveil a former Trump campaign staffer. Trump ultimately green-lighted the memo’s release, ignoring objections from Democrats and the FBI that the document was deeply misleading. The White House is currently reviewing a rebuttal memo authored by Democrats on the committee.