Nunes Forced To Admit Central Point Of His Memo Was… Er…. Wrong

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Yesterday, Devin Nunes and the slapstick co-conspirators who hoped to bring down the FBI and Justice Department with a 4-page memo were foiled by their own incompetence.

Nunes and company hinged the entirety of their hopes on stating that the FBI failed to disclose the political origins of the Trump-Russia dossier, used to secure the initial FISA warrant on a former Trump campaign aide, Carter Page.

We’ll just ignore the fact that Page had been under scrutiny since 2013, and once referred to himself as an “advisor to the Kremlin.”

The wailing ridiculousness of Trump’s lackeys, that this would be bigger than Watergate, people were going to prison, the world was about to stop spinning on its axis… none of that happened, nor will it.

No, it hasn’t stopped Sean Hannity and his ilk from doing an end zone dance, as if it has happened. They’re invested in the narrative, no matter how far from true or how disproven.

Even Nunes, desperate to remain in the good graces of his liege, is now promising multiple memos.  The next one is supposedly about the State Department, which isn’t even in the jurisdiction of the House Intelligence Committee.

Hey… one of them might accomplish a ripple towards ending that pesky Russia probe, right?

So anyway, Nunes was forced to admit the disclosure of the origins of the dossier were, in fact, disclosed to the court, when applying for the FISA warrant.

From New York Magazine, this observation was made:

It’s not true. As the Ellen Nakashima reported, the application to wiretap Page did disclose that one of the sources of intelligence to generate suspicion that Page might be acting illegally came from a political source. It was mentioned in a footnote on the FISA application. Nunes was asked about this on Fox & Friends. He did not deny the point. Instead he insisted that it wasn’t good enough because the disclosure was merely a footnote. “A footnote saying something may be political is a far cry from letting the American people know that the Democrats and the Hillary campaign paid for dirt that the FBI then used to get a warrant on an American citizen to spy on another campaign,” the distinguished Republican explained.

A dumb argument, but still… the footnote disclosed the truth more than Nunes, who didn’t even footnote that the Steele’s research was oppo research at all.

As NY Mag points out, Nunes is quibbling over font size, and felt he could build a case around that.

This was a deeply dishonest attempt to delegitimize the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Russia investigation – an investigation made necessary by the actions of a hostile foreign government, as well as a U.S. president who seems to put more importance on defending the honor of that foreign government than defending the reputation of our own law enforcement and intelligence community.

Meanwhile, the release of the Democratic rebuttal memo, which is almost not needed now, has been approved unanimously by the House Intelligence Committee, and sits on Trump’s desk to be released or not. He has five days.  Will Trump release a memo that hurts his narrative, even though not doing so is clearly partisan?  Good question. I bet he will though.

The minority memo will be subjected to the same 5-day review process by the White House that applied to the majority’s memo. The minority memo is being sent to the White House Monday evening, beginning the 5-day clock upon its arrival there. If President Trump objects to its release, the committee can either do nothing, and keep the memo hidden from public view, or vote to send the memo to the full House for another vote, which would take place after a debate in closed session.

And also, now comes phase two of the attack on tjhe Steele Dossier, reported at Fox News:

Clinton associates were “feeding” allegations to former British spy Christopher Steele at the same time he was compiling the controversial anti-Trump dossier paid for by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign, according to an unclassified memo from senior Senate Republicans who recently made a criminal referral.

Those Republicans, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., had asked the Justice Department in January to investigate Steele based on evidence they say suggests he lied to the FBI about his contacts with the media (a violation of 18 USC 1001) — or the FBI misrepresented Steele’s statements.

The lawmakers are now asking the FBI for an emergency review of their criminal referral so it can be made public, with limited redactions.

Steele already is under scrutiny over the unverified Trump dossier, which a House Intelligence Committee document released last Friday alleged was at the heart of the FBI and DOJ’s request for a surveillance warrant for a Trump associate.

The memo from Grassley and Graham, which is now public for the first time, provides new insight into Steele’s circle of contacts during that time. While heavily redacted, the memo states Steele said he received information that came from “a foreign sub-source who ‘is in touch with (redacted), a contact of (redacted), a friend of the Clintons, who passed it to (redacted).”

This sounds like another half-baked redacted pushback redacted. We’ll redacted see.