In a recounting of today’s extraordinary events on the Hill, Charles Pierce, good writer, can teach me something about rhythm and momentum:
But this bit of galloping absurdity paled next to what Swalwell later would call the “smokebombs” with which the Republicans tried to obscure Comey’s appearance. As we noted, there was a lot of talk about leaks and the nefarious gnomes who traffick in them. (Chris Stewart of Utah told Comey that he hoped Comey had a chance to “give those guys a crack in the head.”) New York’s Elise Stefanik tried to establish that the Russians mucked with both campaigns. Comey agreed but then blew up the entire argument by pointing out that only the material hacked from the Democratic Party was released.
Nobody, however, looked as unsure of his footing as Chairman Devin Nunes, who, not very long ago, was feeling chuffed enough to snark at reporters about how silly this all is. Nunes started the hearing with a mushy appeal to bipartisanship. (Democratic ranking member Adam Schiff of California buried Nunes’ remarks by laying out a clear, concise timeline of what already is known about the Trump campaign and the Russians.) Nunes and Schiff got into a hopeless wrangle about the fairly well-known episode at the Republican National Convention when the Trump people forced a change in the platform regarding military aid to Ukraine for its fight against Russian aggression. Nunes denied it ever happened. “In fact,” he said, “that provision was made stronger.” This is, ahem, contrary to what most people at the convention saw happen before their eyes