[*With update at bottom]
By now Americans are virtually numb from the barrage of scandals under Obama’s watch.
But before presuming to know the situation with the AP Scandal, think again. Yesterday on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Congressman Devin Nunes dropped a bombshell asserting with complete surety that DOJ seized the phone records of the US House of Representatives’ Cloak Room. Can you say Separation of Powers?
Here is the exchange between Hugh Hewitt and Rep. Nunes:
HH: The idea that this might be a Geithner-Axelrod plan, and by that, the sort of intimation, Henry II style, will no one rid me of this turbulent priest, will no one rid me of these turbulent Tea Parties, that might have just been a hint, a shift of an eyebrow, a change in the tone of voice. That’s going to take a long time to get to. I don’t trust the Department of Justice on this. Do you, Congressman Nunes?
DN: No, I absolutely do not, especially after this wiretapping incident, essentially, of the House of Representative. I don’t think people are focusing on the right thing when they talk about going after the AP reporters. The big problem that I see is that they actually tapped right where I’m sitting right now, the Cloak Room.
HH: Wait a minute, this is news to me.
DN: The Cloak Room in the House of Representatives.
HH: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
DN: So when they went after the AP reporters, right? Went after all of their phone records, they went after the phone records, including right up here in the House Gallery, right up from where I’m sitting right now. So you have a real separation of powers issue that did this really rise to the level that you would have to get phone records that would, that would most likely include members of Congress, because as you know…
DN: …members of Congress talk to the press all the time.
HH: I did not know that, and that is a stunner.
DN: Now that is a separation of powers issue here, Hugh.
DN: And it’s a freedom of press issue. And now you’ve got the IRS going after people. So these things are starting to cascade one upon the other, and you have the White House pretending like they’re in the clouds like it’s not their issue somehow.
Shades of Watergate?
Hewitt alludes to that ’73 national scandal as he continues:
HH: Are you going so set aside a lot of time for hearings this summer? Is this a replay of the summer of 1973, Congressman Nunes, when we can turn on and expect a C-SPAN hearing to be on and to want to watch it?
DN: Well, I can assure you that I wasn’t around in 1973, Hugh.
HH: Oh, sure, play that card. DN: I was born in 1973.
HH: Sure, play that card, why don’t you, Congressman Nunes. Make me feel old. I’m 57. I remember it well. But I was in high school. But I hope you do it again. That’s what we need.
DN: Well, my mother claims that that’s why I went into politics, because the whole time she was pregnant, that’s all she watched.
HH: Oh, that’s just brutal. We’re not ever having you back. Congressman Devin Nunes from California’s 22nd Congressional district, thank you, Congressman. Good luck. Just block off July and August, and bring in the C-SPAN cameras.
How important is the Cloak Room?
The United States Congress‘ cloakrooms are how the parties interact with the member of Congress while they are on the floor, and are used by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The cloakrooms serve as a place for members to socialize, eat, and take naps without leaving the building. These rooms are closed to all except for Senators and Representatives, and a few of their trusted staffers, and even have their own phone numbers.
So, wrap your head around this: AG Holder’s Department of Justice is seizing the phone records of the sacrosanct US House of Representatives Cloak Room. This. Is. Huge.