Democrats Posture Against the Nunes Memo, Fail Miserably
Democrats Posture Against the Nunes Memo, Fail Miserably
A successful hashtag campaign has emerged: #ReleaseTheMemo! It actually worked! Congressman Devin Nunes, (R-Ca) chair of the House Intelligence Committee, released a short Memo detailing information used to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Carter Page, former advisor to the Trump campaign.
The Memo doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know, but it puts the abuses of the FISA process in black and white. The FBI and DOJ had knowledge of the sources the warrant application was based on, but did not fully disclose that information to the court. That’s called an omission of material fact. It is unethical, and depending on the warrant application requirements, possibly illegal.
But the Democrats have settled on a criticism of their own. They say Nunes himself has omitted important contextual information from the Memo, information that would explain why the FBI relied on the Steele dossier as a basis for the warrant when even Comey himself called it “salacious and unverified.” They say that they are trying to release their own memo that will surely clear all this up. I’ll be very happy to take a look.
Some of the Democrats claims about the Memo:
Chairman Nunes’ decision, supported by House Speaker Ryan and Republican Members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, to publicly release misleading allegations against the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation is a shameful effort to discredit these institutions, undermine the Special Counsel’s ongoing investigation, and undercut congressional probes.
The Democrats can get away with all the adjectives because they get to hide behind the excuse that their memo isn’t being released. The alleged reason is that it contains information that actually is dangerous to national security if released. That’s convenient.
The Republican document mischaracterizes highly sensitive classified information that few Members of Congress have seen, and which Chairman Nunes himself chose not to review.
That’s a pretty big claim. The last several days Democrats have been going around saying the Memo would be dangerous to release. Aside from many of them now saying it’s a #NothingBurger, there is nothing in the Memo we didn’t already know.
That’s it? Dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the House intel committee, destroyed trust with Intelligence Community, damaged relationship with FISA court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen. For what? DOJ & FBI must keep doing their jobs.
— James Comey (@Comey) February 2, 2018
No, Mr. Comey, you did that.
Shining light on abuse of the FISA process is not something that should remain classified. If abuses are taking place, the American public deserve to know. They tack on the claim that Nunes didn’t even read anything. Wow, let’s see some follow up on that – or is that classified too? Sounds like one of those allegations that makes a big splash, then as time passes they don’t have to prove it. That’s despicable. I just can’t imagine that Nunes hasn’t properly reviewed the material which he is charged with reviewing. Let’s see some proof.
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.
You know, as I said, I would be very happy to know the information, but what they are proposing releasing does sound like much more sensitive information than explaining how a warrant was obtained with very suspect information. If they have information that would counter directly the claim that the dossier wasn’t used, or challenge the truth of the document, then that’s what needs to be revealed. They can hide behind, “There’s more to this story” all they like, but they are trying to deemphasize what is now going to be accepted as truth. Can they counter that? If not, their argument is suspect in its own political goal.
The Majority suggests that the FBI failed to alert the court as to Mr. Steele’s potential political motivations or the political motivations of those who hired him, but this is not accurate. The GOP memo also claims that a Yahoo News article was used to corroborate Steele, but this is not at all why the article was referenced. These are but a few of the serious mischaracterizations of the FISA application. There are many more set out in the Democratic response, which we will again be seeking a vote to release publicly on Monday, February 5th. Unlike Committee Republicans, however, we will ask the relevant agencies to propose any necessary redactions to protect any sources and methods not already disclosed by Chairman Nunes’ document.
Again, it’s easy to throw out allegations of mischaracterizations, Democrats can hide behind the fact that what they want to tell is classified, so they can’t. Too convenient.
It is telling that Chairman Nunes put out this memo without bothering to read the underlying materials, and that he ordered changes to the document without informing his own committee members.
I am positive information backing up these claims is not classified. Let’s hear it, whiners. Democrats are experts at mischaracterization and politicization. This Response from them is a masterful piece of work. But I am convinced, let’s see it all.