Former house intel chief counsel: Rep. Nunes’ actions were a breakdown of the oversight process

Jeremy Bash: "The job of the committee is to do oversight over the executive branch," not political cover for the president's tweet storm.

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From the March 22 edition of MSNBC’s MSNBC Live:

BRIAN WILLIAMS (HOST): Jeremy Bash, the president is at the top of the intelligence food chain. In this case the administration is also, by the way, under investigation. How can the chairman of a congressional, House intelligence committee, be in receipt of something, and he used words that made it sound like almost a whisteblower act, talking about more than one individual, using phrases like come forward. What do you think this means?

JEREMY BASH: Brian, I served as chief counsel of the House intelligence committee, and I think in 40 years of the committee’s existence, since the post-Watergate era reforms with the Church and Pike committees that emerged from those scandals, I have never heard of a chairman of an oversight committee going to brief the president of the United States about concerns he has about things he’s read in intelligence reports. The job of the committee is to do oversight over the executive branch. Not to bring them into their investigation or tip them off to things they may be looking at. And I’ve got to believe that other members of the committee are horrified at what they just witnessed. This is a chairman who is supposed to be doing an impartial, bipartisan investigation of the president and his inner circle. Instead, he goes and basically tells the president and his team everything he knows. It’s very concerning, particularly when what he is saying is that the collection was lawful, it was court ordered by lifetime federal judges against valid foreign intelligence targets, that the reports generated by the nonpartisan, nonpolitical intelligence community were of foreign intelligence value. And then he goes and tries to make this into a political cover story for the president’s tweet storm two Saturdays ago and potentially reveals to the president things about the committee’s existing investigation. This is a true breakdown, Brian, in the entire oversight process. ​


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