Earlier today the New York Times revealed the two men who are House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) sources of information on whether or not the Obama admin was spying on President-elect Trump.
According to the Times the two men are Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer in the office of the White House counsel.
This information, if true, is likely to send the left (and their friends in the media) into fits of angst, as it provides further evidence that Nunes has been working with the White House to unravel this mess. While this does not mean that Nunes has been coordinating with the Trump team, it at least gives the appearance that such collusion is possible, and the appearance of impropriety is all the left needs to foment their anger.
Nunes’ spokesman, Jack Langer, told the Daily Caller that Nunes would not comment on the Times story, “As he’s stated many times, Chairman Nunes will not confirm or deny speculation about his source’s identity, and he will not respond to speculation from anonymous sources.” While the Congressman would like to keep his sources private, for their protection and for the protection of future whistleblowers, if he does not produce his evidence soon this entire story will explode in his face.
There is another wrinkle to this story.
Cohen-Watnick’s name may be recognizable to some because he was the intelligence official that Lt. General H.R. McMaster wanted to fire shortly after becoming the new National Security Advisor to the President. Apparently, Cohen-Watnick had run afoul of the CIA and McMaster felt he would no longer be of use to the intelligence team. However, Cohen-Watnick had forged a relationship with Trump advisors, Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, and the two men were able to convince President Trump to retain Cohen-Watnick’s services. The President stepped in and overruled McMaster keeping Cohen-Watnick as the intelligence director for the National Security Council.
Cohen-Watnick was brought onto Trump’s transition team and then the NSC by a leading critic of the CIA: retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was Cohen-Watnick’s boss at the Defense Intelligence Agency and preceded McMaster as national security adviser.
Cohen-Watnick and Flynn “saw eye to eye about the failings of the CIA human intelligence operations,” said a Washington consultant who travels in intelligence circles. “The CIA saw him as a threat, so they tried to unseat him and replace him with an agency loyalist,” the operative said.
All of this could mean that not only will the left continue to look for ways to see Nunes removed from the investigation, they’ll now also seek to bring the disgraced General Flynn back into the conversation by tying Flynn to Cohen-Watnick, and then tying both men to Nunes. If the Times story is true, Nunes’ sources may have just gone from possibly destroying the Obama legacy to destroying Nunes’ political future.
I’d like to be optimistic but I am very worried that this latest revelation could spell the end for Nunes and could mean more trouble for the Trump administration. Again, if Nunes has solid intel showing the improper unmasking of Trump team members – he must release that information as soon as humanly possible.