The highly anticipated, breathlessly hyped “Nunes Memo” has been released. The result having no more effect on the Mueller investigation, as one pundit remarked: “…then a fart in a hurricane.”
According to the memo the FBI used information provided in the infamous “Steele Dossier“ as the sole basis for petitioning the FISA Court for authorization to surveil upstanding American citizen Carter Page. A man who Donald Trump named as one of his foreign policy advisors.
According to the memo the “Steele Dossier” was little more than a biased hit piece of unproven allegations against Donald Trump which had been commissioned by Hillary Clinton and the DNC.
According to the memo, the FBI failed to inform the FISA Court of the origination of the “Steele Dossier”; a fact which the memo says taints any rational for surveilling Carter Page.
According to the memo, these facts make the surveillance of Carter Page illegal, thereby bringing into question the bias of the entire Mueller investigation.
According to the hyperventilating heads on Fox News, the memo verifies the conservative media outlet’s long standing narrative that the Mueller investigation is nothing more than a politically biased witch hunt designed to smear the Trump campaign and subsequently the current administration. An investigation that the GOP and their communication department at Fox believe should be terminated immediately.
What the memo and its rabid fans at Fox News erroneously fail to mention calls into question either their veracity or their sanity.
The memo fails to mention that intercepts of known Russian spies found Carter Page to be co-operating with Russian intelligence officers. Information corroborated independently by allied foreign intelligence agencies as well as the Steele Dossier. These intercepts began in 2013; three years before the FBI petitioned the FISA Court to authorize surveillance specifically on Carter Page. During the three years leading up to the FISA application, surveillance of Russian operatives caught Page on numerous occasions exchanging information with Russian operatives. Page also traveled to Russia where he made anti-American speeches. Page’s ongoing association with Russian operatives made him a person of interest to the FBI; especially given the fact that he was named by the President Elect to be a member of Trump’s foreign policy team. Contrary to the memo, the FISA Court was made aware that part of the evidence backing up the FBI request for the warrant was corroborated by documents obtained from sources paid for by a political entity…though Clinton and the DNC were NOT specifically mentioned.
A FIAS warrant must be renewed every 90 days. Each renewal application must demonstrate that the previously authorized surveillance bore fruit thereby warranting a continuation of the surveillance. The FISA warrant was renewed three times. Four separate FISA judges found the FBI’s fact based applications deserving of approval; a fact omitted in the Nunes memo.
In summary, beginning in 2013 Carter Page had been found to be communicating and cooperating with known Russian spies. This information was corroborated independently by other trusted sources as well as the Steele Dossier. Given Page’s ongoing activities with the Russian government, his appointment as a foreign policy adviser to the president elect raised the concerns of the US intelligence community to another level, bringing about the FISA application for personal surveillance on Page.
Congressional investigative committees are trusted with classified information by the intelligence community with the understanding that the information will be kept private because releasing it into the public domain could damage national security and put people’s lives at risk. Releasing this type of information to the public damages the trust that is essential in working with sources and foreign operatives to keep America safe. Why would a foreign source endanger themselves by cooperating with our intelligence community when members of congress are willing to divulge the details sensitive operations to gain a political advantage?
The reckless Nunes’ memo is an intentionally dishonest effort to denigrate the Mueller investigation for the sole purpose of gaining a political advantage for the president and his party. In the process Devin Nunes destroyed the reputation of the congressional intelligence investigative committees, damaged the reputations of honest patriotic civil servants, revealed classified sources and methods and endangered the lives of both American and foreign operatives. A reckless and damaging effort fully sanctioned by the Speaker of the House.
This is the second time that Nunes has perpetrated an elaborate false narrative upon the American people for political gain. You may recall his fraudulent fairy tale about “unmasking” American citizens which included the mishandling of classifieds documents and a string of half truths and misrepresentations. An comic effort that damaged his reputation and forced him to recuse himself from matters pertaining to the Russian investigation. A recusal the ever dishonest Nunes has clearly violated.
But Nunes is not done. He has announced that this memo is but “Phase I” of his investigative efforts. According Nunes, Phase II will be a look into the activities of the State Department.
One has to ask…really?