The message from the aging rock star about the California Republican was succinct:
Those gripping words were tweeted earlier this year by Axl Rose, the frontman for Guns N’ Roses. The rocker apparently was miffed after Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) suggested that the Obama administration spied on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. (Rose’s appetite for destruction isn’t just the title of his band’s most popular album: During a concert shortly after the election, he beat an oversized pinata depicting the new president.)
The profane tweet by Rose—who now looks like the homeless love child of Sam Kinison and Ethel Merman—earned nearly 30,000 likes.
A month later, the House Intelligence Committee chairman released his memo that detailed how, in fact, Obama’s Justice Department misled a secret court to obtain an order before the election to wiretap a Trump campaign volunteer.
Rose is one of many celebrities hoping to dump some cold November Rain on Nunes’s reelection next month. The lawmaker who President Trump on Thursday said should get the Medal of Freedom for “what he has gone through and his bravery” is a top target of the Left for leading the investigation into the biggest political scandal in U.S. history: The weaponization of the nation’s law enforcement and intelligence apparatus to infiltrate a rival presidential campaign and undermine an incoming administration.
But actors, movie producers, and alleged comedians have been attacking Nunes as a Trump and/or Russian stooge, and now are lining up their fading star power behind his Democratic challenger, Andrew Janz. “Star Wars” leading man Mark Hamill sneered that Nunes is “a Trump enabler,” and donated a whopping $300 to Janz last year.
Jim Carrey painted a cartoon of the eight-term congressman, titled “White House delivery boy, can I take your order?” The unfunny and disturbed comedian Chelsea Handler referred to him as “a Russian agent . . . who wants to cover up any Russian meddling, since the RNC knows they helped Russia interfere. Let’s get rid of Nunes, and elect real people who work for Americans, not Russia.”
Rosie O’Donnell, Barbra Streisand, and producer James Brooks are among some of the celebrity contributors to Janz’s campaign fund. When the Fresno Bee, Nunes’s hometown paper, endorsed Janz earlier this month, quasi-celebrities cheered the news: “Hometown paper drops a bomb on Devin Nunes and endorses opponent in scathing editorial,” tweeted 1980s drama queen Morgan Fairchild. (The Bee and Nunes are at war. More on that soon.)
Nunes Is the Enemy of the Left
So why are these famous people involved in a race for an unwinnable congressional seat in the Golden State’s San Joaquin Valley? (Nunes defeated Janz by 26 points in California’s open primary election four months ago.)
The reason is that Nunes, 45, refuses to back down from his committee’s ongoing investigation into rampant corruption at the Justice Department and the FBI that began during Obama’s presidency. Nunes gained nationwide attention—and earned the enmity of the Left—when he bucked objections by congressional Democrats and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to issue his explosive memo in February 2018.
The four-page document detailed how political opposition research, paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, was used to obtain an order by a secret court to monitor Carter Page—a U.S. citizen and Trump campaign aide—for one year starting in October 2016. The memo confirmed that the infamous Steele dossier was cited in the FBI application submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to show that Page was a Russian agent, and that the partisan benefactors of the anti-Trump dirt were concealed from the court.
Nunes also revealed that news articles sourced from Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS owner Glenn Simpson were included as corroborating evidence to the court, and that Steele was fired by the FBI for talking to the U.S. news media. (Steele is a British citizen who worked for Democrats, the FBI, and a Russian oligarch in 2016. Collusion and foreign interference in our election, anyone?)
Trump’s claim—blasted by the media, Democrats, and many Republicans—that his campaign was wiretapped prior to the election was therefore proven correct, and the Obama Administration’s covert plan to disrupt Trump’s campaign and presidency was finally made public.
Seems Like Overkill
The Left was furious. Their reaction veered from calls of treason to feigned yawns of irrelevance; Hollywood was happy to lend an assist.
“Saturday Night Live” mocked Nunes several times on a show that aired the day after the memo was released. In its opening sketch, president-playing actor Alec Baldwin referred to Nunes as “my little house elf, so close to earning his freedom.” The show’s “Weekend Update” segment dedicated most of its time to the memo; one pretend news anchor described Nunes as a “40-year-old virgin,” apparently a reference to his resemblance to Steve Carell, even though Nunes is a married father of three. “I don’t really trust this guy to untangle a vast conspiracy—I wouldn’t really trust him to untangle a pair of headphones,” said comedian Colin Jost. “I am trying to put myself in his shoes and it’s really easy because his shoes are velcro.”
Attention-desperate activist Alyssa Milano sniffed that “Hey Yo’ Memo . . . Y2K called . . . it wants its pointless hype back.” Creepy Star Trek actor George Takei compared the memo to a “fart.” But Tatum O’Neal viewed it another way: “Releasing the Nunes memo is Trump’s most unethical act since firing Comey WTF.”
If this seems like overkill, it is. Celebrities are running cover for congressional Democrats and Obama loyalists terrified at what the Nunes investigation will yield. They are trying to bully him into backing down; his opponent confirmed that if Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) replaces Nunes as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee next year, Democrats would begin investigating Nunes himself.
But Hollywood’s intimidation tactics against Nunes aren’t working. He continues to pressure the president to declassify documents related to so-called FISAgate, and his committee will soon post the transcripts of more than 70 witnesses who were interviewed about their role in the scandal. An outspoken critic of Rosenstein, who signed the final FISA application on Page, Nunes and some of his Republican colleagues have threatened to impeach him for blocking congressional demands for information.
While Nunes has raised the ire of the Left, he has earned the respect of the president and many rank-and-file Republicans. Making sure Nunes’s investigation continues after the midterms should be a key talking point for party leaders over the next few weeks. Celebrity outrage at Nunes underscores how serious and damaging this scandal is for the Democrats. Otherwise, just like the Clinton email scandal, everyone will get off the hook. Again.
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Photo Credit: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call