I know how this could turn out. Once the Nunes memo is public, it’s guaranteed that the memo itself will face at least as much public scrutiny as those Nunes discusses in it. The media won’t turn the heat on the DOJ and FBI officials Nunes accuses of abusing their power. They’ll turn the heat on Nunes for daring to offer such a partisan slant on the documents he was allowed to view but not keep copies of.
The Democrats will release their own memo refuting all of Nunes’s conclusions, and that will give the media license to portray the whole story as a he-said-she-said rather than as the exposure of something very wrong going on in federal law enforcement.
Yet Nunes’s greatest defense against this treatment of his memo is, potentially, the memo itself. If he was measured in his conclusions and backed them up with references to the source material that can be verified, it will be difficult for the media and the rest of the left to dismiss what he’s saying. Is it actually that measured and backed up?
President Donald Trump was overheard Tuesday night telling a Republican lawmaker he is “100 percent” in favor of releasing a classified memo on the Russia investigation, and his chief of staff says the document is likely to be released “pretty quick.”
The memo has sparked a political fight pitting Republicans against the FBI and the Justice Department.
“Oh yeah, don’t worry,” the president told South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan on the House floor after his first State of the Union address. “100 percent.”
Duncan had implored Trump to “release the memo.”
Television cameras captured the exchange as Trump was leaving the chamber.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CNN Wednesday that the legal and national security review of the document was continuing, adding that Trump had not read the memo as “as of last night prior to and immediately after the State of the Union.”
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said Wednesday on Fox News Radio that he expected the memo to be released “pretty quick.”
The DOJ and the FBI are pushing against this as hard as they can, desperately trying to persuade the White House that the memo would compromise sources and methods that would consequently jeopardize national security. Yet if that’s true, it should be easy enough to redact portions of the memo that present those concerns while releasing the rest of it. Samantha Power is no longer around to unmask people for political purposes, so any information that needs to be kept secret should be relatively secure.
But we’ve got a bigger problem on our hands than the ones Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray are now trying to raise to block this memo’s release. We have pretty solid reasons to believe the FBI manipulated criminal investigations during the 2016 campaign for the purpose of achieving a desired political outcome. This includes both the initiating of the Trump/Russia collusion matter – which now appears to have been based on garbage – and the spiking of both the Hillary e-mail investigation and the Clinton Foundation investigations.
Clearly, whether out of ideological preference or just the sense that Trump wasn’t fit for the presidency, the FBI’s leadership apparatus wanted Hillary to win the election. They’re welcome to prefer whichever candidate they wish, but they’re not welcome to start some investigations in a bogus manner while tanking others in order to ensure the election outcome they’re after.
Most serious here is the matter of the warrant application the FBI gave the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to get permission to wiretap Trump campaign official Carter Page. If the FBI relied mainly on the Steele dossier, without corroborating information to back up Steele’s claims, then a Democratic administration abused the law enforcement apparatus in order to spy on a Republican presidential campaign under false pretenses.
Yes, that is worse than Watergate.
Now, if they used the Steele dossier but it wasn’t central to the FISA application because there was nother information presented as probable cause, then that might be another story. And that’s why it’s not enough just to see Nunes’s memo. We need to see the full FISA application so we can judge for ourselves whether the FBI was acting legally and responsibly in seeking the warrant. That will probably be a redaction nightmare as well, and the DOJ and FBI will surely offer the same complaint about national security.
But right now the public has a lot of legitimate reason to doubt the integrity of the FBI and the Justice Department, and that is a national security issue all its own.
We should know soon how compelling the Nunes memo is. But we need to know as soon as possible what was in that FISA application, and the only way for that to happen is for President Trump to declassify it.
He needs to do that as soon as possible so we can stop speculating and deal with what it tells us. And if what we learn is that the DOJ and the FBI are compromised, then we can start dealing with that.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by !