As public scrutiny exposes deep flaws in the memo from the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, about alleged F.B.I. surveillance abuses, the committee’s Republicans are increasingly downplaying its significance. Mr. Nunes’s colleagues are right to seek some distance from this caper — not to mention other similar memos he has hinted at releasing. That’s because by writing and releasing the memo, the chairman may just have landed himself, and his staff members, in the middle of Robert Mueller’s obstruction of justice investigation.

This risk emerged when Repesentative Mike Quigley, a Democrat on the committee, asked Mr. Nunes whether he or his staff coordinated the memo with the White House. Mr. Nunes said he had not — but refused to answer the same question about his staff. Facing a second round of questions on this issue during a committee meeting last week, Mr. Nunes again demurred, except to read a narrow statement that the White House was not involved in the actual drafting.

In additional comments to the press, the committee staff director noted the memo was a “‘team effort’ that involved investigators who had access to source material.”

Given Mr. Nunes’s own close relations to the White House as a former member of the executive committee of the Trump transition team, and his previous history conferring with White House officials on matters under investigation by his committee, it is fair to surmise that his staff, perhaps at his direction, may have coordinated the memo with the White House.

Such conduct could expose Mr. Nunes and his staff to liability for conspiracy to obstruct justice. According to press accounts, the Nunes memo may be designed at least in part to provide the president an excuse for firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the individual with supervisory authority over Mr. Mueller, the special counsel in charge of the investigation. The purported scheme: clear a path to install a Trump-friendly replacement who would either fire Mr. Mueller or otherwise defang the investigation. Indeed, after the memo was released the president did nothing to quell these suspicions, ominously responding “you figure that one out” when asked if the memo made him more likely to fire Mr. Rosenstein. The double standard applied by the president in refusing the immediate release of a rebuttal memo offered by the minority is hardly reassuring as to his good intentions.

Endeavoring to stop an investigation, if done with corrupt intent, may constitute obstruction of justice. Plotting to assist such action may be conspiracy to obstruct justice.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/o...n-justice.html

No doubt Mueller and his team will be questioning Nunes and his staff.