The Third Third

Chairman Nunes: Your Intelligence is (not) Showing

Representative Devin Nunes
Longworth House Office Building
Suite 1013 
Washington, DC 20515 

Dear Representative Nunes:

I am old enough to be your mother.  In fact, my eldest daughter shares your birth month and year.  After several years of her telling me, I now spend a great deal of time telling myself she is a grown-up and no longer in need of my parenting and, especially, of my parenting advice.  And I concede, she is a delight and an intelligent, productive, creative, engaged member of our society who every day lives out the very best of personal and civic values.  

Unfortunately, you have not shown the same admirable maturity.  So I am writing to say it is time for you to grow up and do the job the voters of California elected you to do, and do it right, and with integrity.  I am writing to tell you that both my daughter and I are appalled by what you are doing to undermine, nay, destroy the integrity of the House Intelligence Committee, and quite possibly to help the Russians and/or President Trump and his shady associates undermine and potentially destroy our democracy itself.  

Every single action you have taken, bizarre and otherwise, and every word you have uttered in defense of the President is a violation of the charge to your committee to investigate Russian interference in our election and possible collaboration with the Trump campaign and/or White House.  Your committee has been asked to investigate, not to defend.  Your committee has been asked to review the facts, but not to damn, deny, nor secret them away.  Or lie.  Your committee has been called to protect the democratic institutions and ideals that have served our nation so well, that have shaped our economic and political leadership in the world, not to threaten them. 

I honestly don't know if you are acting out of stupidity or rancor, with self-interest, self-aggrandizement, or as a mere hapless tool of the more destructive elements of the Trump administration.  

I am quite certain the American people — ALL OF US — believe that if the folks in Trump administration have nothing to hide in the matter of the Russian interference, they should stop hiding it.  And you should stop helping them hide it.  

Think about it:  every thing you have done or said since the Intelligence Committee hearings began has given the people you serve cause not to trust the very process itself.  Not to trust partisan politicians, not to trust the intelligence community, not to trust the ability of the House of Representatives to provide oversight, not to trust the media, not to trust the President or his advisors, not to trust the election; the list goes on and on.  And if we no longer trust it, we will be hard-pressed to defend it when it is threatened, either by outside foreign interests or by sinister, demagogic forces within.  This scares me.  It keeps my daughter who is your age, and all my grown children and me up at night.  I’m quite certain your mother did not raise you to partake in the destruction of the great democratic experiment which is the United States of America; she — and your voters — gave you an opportunity to serve it.  Please do.

Or step down.

With considerable anxiety and anger,
Ann S. Sentilles
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