Okay so the memo got released today.Upon memo’s release, Nunes claims GOPers "discovered serious violations" https://t.co/rS9sZAH0jr pic.twitter.com/lSRZmu7r8h— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) February 2, 2018
I read it. (You can also read it here.)
My very well thought out and cleverly worded response is, um....seriously?
Here is what the Washington Post had to say about it:
The four-page, newly declassified memo written by the Republican staffers for the House Intelligence Committee said the findings “raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain (Justice Department) and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC),’’ calling it “a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.’’
The memo accuses former officials who approved the surveillance applications – a group that includes former FBI Director James B. Comey, his former deputy Andrew McCabe, former deputy attorney general Sally Yates and current Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein — of signing off on court surveillance requests that omitted key facts about the political motivations of the person supplying some of the information, Christopher Steele, a former intelligence officer in Britain.
The memo says Steele “was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations — an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI.’’
The memo is not an intelligence document and reflects information the committee has gathered, which Democrats, the FBI and Justice Department have criticized as incomplete and misleading.
Much of the focus of the memo, is that the surveillance of Carter Page...
|Yeah, this dude.|
They also suggest that the information was tainted by the fact that Steele also discussed the dossier with various news outlets. (I am not really sure how that is a thing.)
However as Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson testified "sources said the dossier was taken so seriously because it corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources, including one inside the Trump (campaign)."
That suggests that the FISA court likely had other information available to help decide whether surveillance was necessary, that the memo has conveniently left out.
Besides as the Wall Street Journal points out Carter Page was on the counterintelligence radar from as far back as 2013.
This is from a release by the House minority in response to this misleading memo:
“The Republican document mischaracterizes highly sensitive classified information that few Members of Congress have seen, and which Chairman Nunes himself chose not to review. It fails to provide vital context and information contained in DOJ’s FISA application and renewals, and ignores why and how the FBI initiated, and the Special Counsel has continued, its counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s election interference and links to the Trump campaign. The sole purpose of the Republican document is to circle the wagons around the White House and insulate the President. Tellingly, when asked whether the Republican staff who wrote the memo had coordinated its drafting with the White House, the Chairman refused to answer.
“The premise of the Nunes memo is that the FBI and DOJ corruptly sought a FISA warrant on a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, and deliberately misled the court as part of a systematic abuse of the FISA process. As the Minority memo makes clear, none of this is true. The FBI had good reason to be concerned about Carter Page and would have been derelict in its responsibility to protect the country had it not sought a FISA warrant.
“In order to understand the context in which the FBI sought a FISA warrant for Carter Page, it is necessary to understand how the investigation began, what other information the FBI had about Russia’s efforts to interfere with our election, and what the FBI knew about Carter Page prior to making application to the court – including Carter Page’s previous interactions with Russian intelligence operatives. This is set out in the Democratic response which the GOP so far refuses to make public.
“The authors of the GOP memo would like the country to believe that the investigation began with Christopher Steele and the dossier, and if they can just discredit Mr. Steele, they can make the whole investigation go away regardless of the Russians’ interference in our election or the role of the Trump campaign in that interference. This ignores the inconvenient fact that the investigation did not begin with, or arise from Christopher Steele or the dossier, and that the investigation would persist on the basis of wholly independent evidence had Christopher Steele never entered the picture.
I mean at this point it is almost giving it too much credit to call this memo a "nothing burger."
Here is what Twitter is saying about the release of the memo:
Senate Intel Vice Chair Warner on memo release:— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 2, 2018
"Unlike almost every House member who voted in favor of this memo's release, I have actually read the underlying documents on which the memo was based. They simply do not support its conclusions.”
This, all the way at the bottom of the Nunes memo, literally proves that the FBI didn't use the Steele dossier as its sole source for a FISA warrant. Papadopoulos was not mentioned in the dossier and he came on the FBI's radar before Steele even handed them his first report. pic.twitter.com/XOcMt6WjM8— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) February 2, 2018
#NunesMemo concedes that #Steele had provided reliable intel in the past. Pretty much undercuts the whole argument about the #FISA warrants being corrupt. #Nothingburger.— Howard Fineman (@howardfineman) February 2, 2018
There is literally so much fail here that I am not even sure that Fox News can make a mountain out of this pathetic little molehill.LOL— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) February 2, 2018
A year attacking the Steele dossier.
A month hyping that the dossier started the whole FBI investigation.
Weeks hyping that they have a memo (a memo!) that will finally prove it!
So... is there some other memo?
Because this one says it was Papadopoulos, not the dossier.
But we know they're gonna try.