After the release of the Comey memos yesterday which backed up every claim the ousted FBI Director has made so far, many journalists and politicians are wondering why House Republicans demanded they be released at all and went as far as trying to intimidate Rod Rosenstein by saying they would impeach him if he didn't release them.
Steve Benen, a former C&Ler and now a mainstay of Rachel Maddow's links their behavior to Rep. Devin Nunes outrageous antics.
First, if you’re feeling déjà vu right about now, you’re not alone – because this feels very much like the debacle surrounding the so-called “Nunes memo” all over again. In that case, House Republicans fought with the Justice Department, ignored every warning, and released sensitive information to the public in the hopes of undermining the investigation into the Russia scandal. Trump, in a perpetual state of confusion, immediately claimed vindication.
In reality, of course, the gambit failed spectacularly. Every key argument the president and his allies hoped to advance fell apart, and after weeks of over-the-top hype, Republicans actually found themselves worse off than they were before the sensitive materials were released to the public.
Steve continues, "To this extent, the Comey memos are effectively the Nunes memo’s sequel: an embarrassing dud that GOP partisans failed to think through."
Slate's Jeremy Stahl makes a good case that Republicans used a Fox News report which stated that Comey gave Professor Richman classified information which they could then prosecute him with. Obviously the Fox News report was false.
In watching the Republican's behavior for the last nine years I imagine they hoped to find at least a few nuggets in those memos that they could manipulate and then use to help Trump, smear James Comey, the Russian investigations and even Robert Mueller.
Rep. Jim Jordan can try and turn a nice sunny day into a hurricane in order to help Donald Trump and smear any Democratic politician or media outlet he so chooses. Releasing the memos gives him the chance to light up Fox News viewers.
In the end, True Believers will still believe and everyone else will either see stories about hookers, Trump's obsession with Comey, or some other thing. But none of it is good for Republicans.