Sen. Mark WarnerMark WarnerSo what if banks push fancy cards? Give consumers the steak they want Five questions for the House's new Russia investigator Why an independent counsel is necessary in an election probe MORE (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee who is widely respected by leaders of both parties, has stated that the committee’s investigation of Russian attacks against American democracy is the most important work of his lifetime.
By contrast Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, acts like a rogue chairman, holding clandestine meetings at the White House and refusing to inform Democrats and congressional leaders of critical information. He is destroying the credibility and integrity of the committee, subverting and obstructing one of the most important investigations in the history of the republic and should be removed as chairman.
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, whose opponents periodically die under suspicious circumstances and whose citizens are beaten and imprisoned if they attend protest rallies, has been executing a new form of warfare against America and Western democracy designed to attack political leaders he despises and elect political candidates he supports.
Putin’s war strategy seeks to put in power those he considers friends of Russia from the White House in Washington to the Elysee Palace in France, without the need to militarily invade the nations he targets.
Make no mistake, Putin is pursuing a war strategy against American and Western democracy based on the publicly stated military and strategic doctrine invented by Russian General Valery Gerasimov, one of the leading generals in the Russian military and closest confidants to Putin.
The Gerasimov doctrine is that in the modern world wars can be won by combining traditional tactics of military power and espionage with new-style tactics of cyberwar, infowar, cultural warfare and diplomatic penetration all directed towards a single overpowering purpose.
In America this doctrine was powerfully applied for the purpose of electing Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump's Hollywood Walk of Fame star defaced Report: Senate's Russia probe understaffed Trump won't comment on Le Pen's advancement in French election MORE as president. In Germany it is applied for the purpose of destroying German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In France it is applied for the purpose of electing far right extremist Marine Le Pen, the candidate of the National Front party whose election could destroy the European Union and deal a powerful blow to NATO, as France’s next president.
Warner’s integrity and clarity about the magnitude of the danger and the enormity of the subject will someday be applauded by historians. Nunes, and Republican leaders who enable and empower the damage his behavior does to the credibility of his committee and the vital investigation he disrupts, will be widely condemned by the high court of history for their actions we witness in real time today.
In intelligence and security terms, Putin’s war against democracy poses a grave danger to our security. In political terms, the daily revelations of previously undisclosed contacts between Russian intelligence agents and sources and numerous Trump campaign and administration officials threatens to engulf and overwhelm the Trump presidency.
Operationally the Putin war plan has created the functional equivalent of a KGB super PAC employing an army of Russian military and intelligence personnel, exploiting the tactics of the old KGB that Putin served, generating billions of dollars of media coverage for negative attacks against Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPoll: 85 percent of Clinton supporters would vote for her again OMB director: Government shutdown not a 'desired end' Poll: Almost half say Trump off to poor start MORE in 2016, spreading fake news against opponents through new media and social media, and seeking material for blackmail against whichever candidates win the elections Putin attempted to fix.
From the Democratic National Convention until Election Day in 2016 all American media was inundated and saturated day after day, month after month, by Russian-generated negative attacks and fake news from WikiLeaks and other sources.
When the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee coordinates with the White House rather than honorably investigating whether any Americans coordinated with Russian espionage against America, it is time to save the committee, change its chairman and protect the nation.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), then-chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Contributors blog and reached at email@example.com.
The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.