* The Hatch Act is a federal law that prohibits employees in the executive branch from using their official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the result of an election.
In a recent Facebook Page comment, Congressman Joaquin Castro told constituents about his dismay over Chairman Nunes’ decision to share information with the public:
On Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 4:16 P.M. (CST), Congressman Joaquin Castro posted on his Facebook Page:
“House Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes’ actions today compromise the effectiveness of the committee. Speaking to both the media and the White House prior to conferring with fellow members undermines the committee’s ability to do its job and provide appropriate oversight.
As recently as this morning, I have spoken positively about the bipartisan nature in which Chairman Nunes and the entire House Intelligence Committee has operated. The Chairman’s actions today represent an abrupt and clear departure from that posture.
Scripture reminds us that a person cannot serve two masters. Chairman Nunes can either lead this committee to pursue the truth or choose to serve as an advocate for President Trump.”
However, upon closer analysis, Mr. Castro’s outrage appears to be partisan motivated in that:
(1) He doesn’t explain how Chairman Nunes’ actions “[undermine] the committee’s ability to do its job and provide appropriate oversight.”
(2) He doesn’t justify how Mr. Nunes’ actions “represent an abrupt and clear departure from that posture.”
(3) He invokes “scripture,” accusing Mr. Nunes of favoring President Trump when, in fact, it is only Mr. Castro who (without evidence) perceives Mr. Nunes’ actions as a sign of support for Trump.
If one were to listen to Chairman Nunes’ two-minute public remarks on the “Incidental Collection of Trump Associates,” he or she would also find Mr. Castro’s religiously-invoked outrage puzzling:
At our open hearing on Monday, I encouraged anyone who has information about relevant topics—including surveillance on President-elect Trump or his transition team—to come forward and speak to the House Intelligence Committee.
I also said that, while there was not a physical wiretap of Trump Tower, I was concerned that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates.
I recently confirmed that, on numerous occasions, the Intelligence Community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.
Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration—details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value—were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.
I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked.
To be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia or any investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.
The House Intelligence Committee will thoroughly investigate this surveillance and its subsequent dissemination to determine:
- Who was aware of it
- Why it was not disclosed to Congress
- Who requested and authorized the additional unmasking
- Whether anyone directed the intelligence community to focus on Trump associates; and
- Whether any laws, regulations, or procedures were violated
I’ve asked the Directors of the FBI, NSA, and CIA to expeditiously comply with my March 15 letter, and to provide a full account of these surveillance activities.
I informed Speaker Ryan this morning of this new information, and I will be going to the White House this afternoon to share what I know with the President.
Notably, toward the end of his statement, Chairman Nunes disclosed that he had already informed Speaker Ryan. He also stated that he would visit the White House later on in the afternoon.
But Congressman Castro paints a more surreptitious picture of Mr. Nunes despite the fact that Mr. Nunes openly communicated his itinerary.
Mr. Castro’s behavior is no different from the majority of Democrats — that is, exaggerating claims to substantiate their narrative of “Russian-interference,” an event that purportedly caused the DNC to lose over 1,000 state and federal Democratic posts, including governorships and state legislative seats. Not to mention both houses of Congress.
This week’s fiasco is just one instance of Congressman Castro’s questionable politics.
Take last month, for example. In a letter to Chairman Nunes, Congressman Joaquin Castro endorsed the demands of Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), ordering Chairman Nunes to require Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn to testify before the Intelligence Committee.
Below is Mrs. Speirer’s justification for the request:
We are in a constitutional crisis, and it is the duty of Congress to conduct a full investigation before it further damages the credibility and national security of the United States.
Within the past week we have seen aggressive acts with increasing frequency from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Last Friday, Russian aircraft buzzed a U.S. destroyer in the Black Sea. On Monday, the Russians deployed a cruise missile in violation of our shared treaty. Yesterday, we learned a Russian spy ship was spotted just 30 miles off the coast of Connecticut. These incidents, along with Monday night’s forced resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and yesterday’s unprecedented public warning from an active duty four-star general, are just the tip of the iceberg.
And all of this is deeply connected to our Committee’s ongoing investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential election.
Unless we take immediate action to understand the circumstances of General Flynn’s departure, as well as the content and timing of his conversations with the Russian government, we will not only be guilty of dereliction of duty, we will be complicit with the corrupting forces that may have compromised the President and his Administration. Chairman Nunes must require General Flynn to testify before the Committee.
Constitutional crisis? Evidently, members of the DNC have been struggling to realign their motives for justifying the organization’s defeat. In addition to doing it for themselves, they are now asserting that it’s to protect “the credibility and national security of the United States.” It’s for the people.
A clear tell-tale sign of Mrs. Speier’s deceit lies in her reference to the “Russian spy ship spotted just 30 miles off the coast of Connecticut.” Turns out Obama had also seen it two years ago near another submarine base in Kings Bay, Georgia.
Congressman Joaquin Castro, in essence, approved a letter that exaggerates the incentive to spin stories in favor of the Democratic Party, namely by downplaying its loss through biased propaganda.
This apparent deception begs the question: Why do Democrats feel the need to reinvent incidents that have already occurred? Instead of referencing past events within their appropriate contexts, they use “Russian spy ships” (among other things) as evidence for “Russian interference [in] the 2016 Presidential election,” even though the FBI, CIA, and NSA determined on January 6, 2017 that such allegations could not be factually supported.
Regardless, on March 27, 2017 at 10:35 P.M. (CST), Mr. Castro posted yet another misleading statement:
Chairman Nunes’ actions have compromised his ability to lead the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russia’s attack on our 2016 election. He should step aside. I discuss with Chris Hayes.
Absent any evidence of “Russian interference,” Congressman Castro still finds a way to claim “[Russia] attack[ed] … our 2016 election.”
Perhaps what’s most disconcerting is Mr. Castro re-writes the original purpose of the Committee’s investigation specifically for his constituents. Instead of “…the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the Russian active measures campaign targeting the 2016 U.S. election,” he writes, “…into Russia’s attack on our 2016 election.” The latter, of course, falsely implies that it’s been proven Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
* No evidence of “Russian interference” has ever emerged.
This type of circular reasoning (i.e., a logical fallacy in which the reasoner begins with what he or she is trying to end with) further demonstrates Congressman Castro’s inability to form judgments against his own prejudices. Like his Democratic colleagues, he asserts claims out of unsubstantiated ideas and opinions.
Keep in mind that the true purpose of the Committee’s investigation is to answer the following questions:
- What Russian cyber activity and other active measures were directed against the United States and its allies?
- Did the Russian active measures include links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns or any other U.S. Persons?
- What was the U.S. Government’s response to these Russian active measures and what do we need to do to protect ourselves and our allies in the future?
- What possible leaks of classified information took place related to the Intelligence Community Assessment of these matters?
What “truth” is Congressman Castro actually seeking?
When did Chairman Nunes demonstrate his “advocacy” for President Trump?
During his two-minute remarks, Mr. Nunes confirmed the following:
- On numerous occasions, the Intelligence Community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.
- Additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked.
- None of the surveillance was related to Russia or any investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.
However, Mr. Castro’s hypocrisy doesn’t end there. In fact, it transcends the confines of his Facebook Page as well as the letter he signed with seven other Democratic colleagues on the Intelligence Committee.
In 2016, Mr. Castro’s brother, Secretary Julián Castro (Democrat), violated the Hatch Act, a federal law that prohibits employees in the executive branch from using their official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the result of an election.
The Office of Special Council (OSC) determined that Mr. Julián Castro violated federal law by promoting Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. He did so in an 18-minute interview with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric, all of which took place in his office on April 3, 2016.
Secretary Julián Castro said the following:
Now taking off my HUD hat for a second and just speaking individually, it is very clear that Hillary Clinton is the most experienced, thoughtful, and prepared candidate for President that we have this year.
In the end, the American people understand that she has a positive vision for the country that includes opportunity for everybody, and she can actually get it done.
Undoubtedly, he blended his own political perspectives with his position as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Read the official report here: Report of Prohibited Political Activity Under the Hatch Act OSC File No. HA-16-3113 (Julián Castro). Dated June 24, 2016.
Rather than blame the Russians for interfering in the 2016 Presidential election, Democrats may want to focus on the obvious corruption within their own party. Mr. Julián Castro, an American citizen, used his official authority to interfere with the result of an election.
Paradoxically, congressional members want to hold Russia accountable, but they refuse to hold Secretary Julián Castro liable for breaking U.S. federal law.
President Obama (for political reasons) chose not to punish Mr. Julián Castro so long as he apologized for his misconduct, which he eventually did. It should be noted that, at the time, Secretary Castro was a possible vice-presidential nominee for Hillary Clinton.
Below is a video of the White House affirming Secretary Julián Castro’s violation of federal law without disciplinary action:
What did Congressman Joaquin Castro say about his brother’s verified misconduct?
In response to Secretary Julián Castro’s federal violation, Mr. Joaquin Castro said,
It’s de minimis, but [Julián] did acknowledge the error.
In other words, Congressman Castro argued that Secretary Castro’s actions were too trivial to warrant punishment.
Again, where’s the political accountability for government officials who violate a federal law, particularly one that prohibits employees in the executive branch from using their official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the result of an election?
Evidently, like many other Democratic officials (e.g., John Lewis), the Castro brothers are operating under a different set of standards. Their hypocrisy is self-evident, especially in light of the fact that one couldn’t hold the other accountable for his actions.
Despite knowing this, Congressman Castro continues to portray himself as being more noble than everyone else when, truthfully, he’s the one who “represent[s] an abrupt and clear departure” from the kind of bipartisanship needed in the House Intelligence Committee.