#ReleaseThe Memo, Round Two [video]
#ReleaseThe Memo, Round Two [video]
Yesterday, President Trump met with his top advisors to review release of the Democrats’ response memo to the Nunes’ memo from last week. Late Friday, the White House announced it will not release the Democrat memo until revisions are made in the interest of national security.
“Although the President is inclined to declassify the February 5th Memorandum, because the Memorandum contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages, he is unable to do so at this time,” McGahn writes.The letter from McGahn also cites and includes a note from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray that says they had “concerns” about the Democrats’ memo related to “longstanding principles regarding the protection of intelligence sources and methods, ongoing investigations, and other similarly sensitive information.”
Trump declassified the GOP memo over the objections of Rosenstein and Wray.
The GOP/Nunes’ memo was just barely four pages long, and detailed the information provided to the FISA court when the FBI sought a warrant for Carter Page in 2016, and three more renewals in 2017. Nunes’ memo laid out a tale of abuse of the FISA court, that if true, is jaw-droppingly disgusting. Never has “Drain the Swamp” been so apt as it applies to the upper echelons of leadership within our government.
Democrats whined about the release for days – that it would reveal sources and methods, that it would endanger national security, that it was an attack on the FBI and undermine confidence in our justice system. Well, they weren’t wrong about everything, but as for the outsized cries about harming our national security, they were simply crying, “Wolf.” What the Nunes’ memo really revealed was a corrupt administration, fully under the watchful eye of Barack Obama. Those who are still blinded by Obama’s brilliant smile and crisply creased pants are not expected to see the light just yet, but Nunes was able to light the match that will eventually shine light on the entire sordid affair of this fake claim of Russian collusion.
Nunes’ memo was very straightforward and simply listed facts. Most of the facts were previously known from media reports, and the memo simply confirmed them. It left to the readers the ability to draw their own conclusions about what everything meant. Therefore, a response memo from the Democrats simply needs to rebut the veracity of the facts in the Nunes memo to undermine its credibility. Let’s see if that happens, or if they make more theater out of Trump’s rejection. That was probably what they were going for anyway. The White House denial can be seen here.
If the Democrats ever get their memo into the public what will it say?
Will they deny that the Steele dossier was used to support the FISA memo? It never should have been included in the first place, so let’s see how they try to get around that ethical breach and possible illegal action.
Will they try to say the Steele dossier wasn’t relied on in the FISA process? If so, what other bits of evidence will they say could have supported a FISA warrant? Were they enough on their own?
Will they try to say Carter Page was already a person of interest so that should figure into why a warrant was appropriate? So what if he was a person of interest? They apparently didn’t have enough information to get a warrant without using the made-up dossier, so this point is weak.
Will they give any timelines as to when the FBI sought warrants or offer a reason as to why a warrant was denied in the early summer of 2016, but then later granted in the fall of 2016? Something prompted them to seek a warrant on Page, what was it?
Will they explain why, if George Papadopoulos, and his talk about Russian dirt on Trump, was brought to the attention of the FBI in the summer of 2016, the FBI not interview him until January 2017? Why is someone that important to prompting the investigation never spoken to until months later? Every investigator knows it’s important to get to witnesses quick before memories fade.
Will they explain why, if George Papadopoulos was the impetus for opening an investigation into collusion, did the FBI seek a warrant for only Carter Page in 2016? Was Papadopoulos ever surveilled in any capacity?
Will it explain exactly what Papadopoulos or Page did wrong to draw criminal investigative attention? Talking to Russians isn’t a crime so far as I know.
Will it explain what crime Page is supposed to have been suspected of? Andy McCarthy explains that in order to seek a warrant on a U.S. citizen a crime must be alleged – not just a showing of whiter someone may be an agent of a foreign power.
Will there be redactions in the memo? Will it appear to be crafted in such a way as to maximize necessary redactions? So that it can appear that Trump is trying to hide something, as Trey Gowdy has opined?
As for now, Democrats are probably pretty happy that they got Trump to deny release of their memo. They can puff a lot of drama with that doobie. #ReleaseTheMemo Round Two is underway.