That’s Why the Memo Is a Sham

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Nunes Memo, Trump Maladministration

The New York Times reported today that according to three people who have read it, The Unreleased Memo reveals that, some time last year, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein approved an application to keep Carter Page under surveillance. This is apparently the bombshell information that has so shocked and horrified the handful of Republicans who have read The Memo.

In case you misled your score card, Carter Page was a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who already had been under surveillance under a FISA warrant beginning in 2016, when he joined the Trump campaign, the BBC says. The FBI suspected Page of being an agent of a foreign government. “The FBI had reportedly had previously investigated Page because of his 2013 ties to Russian bank executive Evgeny Buryakov, who was convicted in 2015 of spying on the US,” the BBC continues. Page resigned from the Trump campaign in September 2016 as Trump’s alleged ties to Russia were gaining attention.

Seems to me that if some guy who has known ties to a convicted foreign spy joins a presidential campaign, putting him under surveillance is not outrageously out of bounds. So what’s the deal? The New York Times explains,

The memo’s primary contention is that F.B.I. and Justice Department officials failed to adequately explain to an intelligence court judge in initially seeking a warrant for surveillance of Mr. Page that they were relying in part on research by an investigator, Christopher Steele, that had been financed by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

So let’s get this straight — first, the shocked and horrified Republicans aren’t complaining about the original FISA warrant, they are complaining about the extension of the warrant. And they are complaining because they say the application for extension didn’t adequately explain that some of the allegations against Carter Page might have come from the Steele Dossier. Allegedly.

David Graham writes for The Atlantic,

First, there’s no obvious reason why the Justice Department couldn’t use information obtained in opposition research in a warrant application, assuming, of course, that it was accurate. Simpson said Steele approached the FBI with information he had obtained not at the behest of the DNC, but because he worried that there was information important to Americ the woran national security, and he had a duty to inform law enforcement. This is arguably in contrast to the behavior of the Trump campaign, which after being told that an agent of a foreign government wished to offer damaging information about the Hillary Clinton campaign ahead of a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, chose not to inform law enforcement. Many political operatives have said they would have contacted the FBI under similar circumstances.

Second, it’s unclear what if any non-Steele information was referenced in the warrant application. Bradley Moss, a lawyer who works on national-security cases, said in an email that he expected any application would have used other sources.

So, there is nothing about the Steele research that makes it automatically out of bounds to use to obtain a warrant, and it appears that even if the Steele Dossier were a source, it wouldn’t have been the only one.

So, yeah, release the freaking memo.

Graphic Ripped Off a Wingnut Website

 

Several media outlets are reporting today that the Trump Administration and much of the Republican Party have targeted Rod Rosenstein as an enemy agent and part of the “deep state” conspiracy they imagine — emphasis on the word imagine — is trying to bring down Donald Trump. Aaron Blake writes at WaPo:

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein is increasingly in President Trump’s crosshairs, and Trump’s long-standing wish to get rid of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe finally came true Monday. The subject of his derision in both cases? The idea that they are both essentiallyDemocrats.

Except they aren’t, really.

But in that way, they fit a growing pattern: Almost every person who has stood atop the supposed “deep state” law-enforcement-led conspiracy against Trump just so happens to be either a Republican or tied to the same party Trump belongs to.

Rosenstein? A longtime registered Republican. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III? He was a registered Republican when GOP President George W. Bush appointed him as FBI director, and he still was as of 2017. James B. Comey? A longtime registered Republican before testifying in 2016 that he no longer was. McCabe? As CNN reported recently, he voted in the 2016 Republican presidential primary.

In case you missed it — yes, Andrew McCabe is stepping down from his job as FBI Deputy Director as of today, which is something he had already announced he would do. According to many reports, Trump had been pressuring him to quit. McCabe stayed on the job until he could retire at full pension.

But now the wingnut noise machine will be concentrating on Rod Rosenstein. Back to David Graham:

Attacking Rosenstein serves a dual purpose for Trump and his allies. If Rosenstein is forced to resign or fired, Trump would appoint a replacement who would become Mueller’s boss, and could fire the special counsel or move to limit his probe. The White House seems to recognize that firing Rosenstein merely to mess with the Mueller probe would be politically disastrous, but alleging misconduct in a warrant application could provide an excuse to push him out for other reasons. Even if Rosenstein doesn’t go, however, the current line of argument serves the purpose of undermining trust in the FBI and DOJ as they continue to investigate Trump.

I take it Rosenstein didn’t sign the original FISA warrant application for surveillance on Carter Page, just the extension. That explains why they’re hysterical about the extension application but not the original application.

See also “Trump’s most desperate move yet? Here’s what pushing out Rod Rosenstein would mean.”

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. uncledad  •  Jan 29, 2018 @6:25 pm

    This seems like a quite transparent attempt to get Rosenstein fired. If only the GOP were as good at governing as they are at controlling the news cycle and obstructing justice we'd be in good shape. Once they get Rosenstein fired then his replacement will control the Mueller investigation and it will be throttled down until it fizzles out. One can only assume that many in the GOP are also in cahoots with the Russians and are also afraid at what Mueller may reveal?

  2. KC  •  Jan 29, 2018 @7:00 pm

    It’s insane. 

  3. Bonnie  •  Jan 29, 2018 @9:30 pm

    Trump and all the Republicans who support Trump and his efforts to undermine law and order are all traitors to the American people.  I hope they are taking classes in learning the soon-to-be new language–Russian.  By 2020, all election ballots will have to be in English and Russian.

  4. csm  •  Jan 30, 2018 @12:08 am

    There are many clues the Nunes memo is likely fraudulent, including that there is no reason why Nunes would have this info when the DOJ wouldn't. It's also interesting that if, as Nunes says info in the memo is so highly classified, that he can't share it with the DOJ  but apparently certain right wing partisans have seen it.  And given that, why isn't Nunes getting dinged by the Democrats for mishandling classified info?

    My bet is that the memo is a fraud on the level of Ron Johnson 's ridiculous "secret society" accusations, and that its value to Nunes and the right wing consumers of it is in it NOT being released.

    Here's the $100k question: it's one thing to provide partisan support for the president, but why is Nunes going way beyond that, desperately working to impede the investigation, falsifying information and essentially breaking laws to thwart the it in such a stupid and transparent way?  I believe the short answer is the GOP is not just politically vulnerable but may be exposed as criminally vulnerable, if all they layers are peeled back.  Trump is not the only one with a lot to worry about.

  5. aj  •  Jan 30, 2018 @3:42 am

    I tend to agree with CSM. You never hear 1 word from Ryan or McConnell. Ryan is at fault for letting Nunes run wild and not abiding by the agreement made earlier with McCarthy and Schiff in Ryan's office. 

    I always go back to the April recorded conversation with Ryan talking about Trump and Rohrabacher taking Russian money and then saying ' it is a joke and this isn't to go out of the room as we are family here.' I think there are more than those 2 taking Russian money.

  6. aj  •  Jan 30, 2018 @3:47 am

    April 2016 it was

  7. Ten Bears  •  Jan 30, 2018 @12:49 pm

    Could be me, but there seems to be some confusion twixt Page and Drumpf uck in pp2, s3.

    At some point hopefully pretty darn soon we're gonna' have to stop being afraid to use the word Treason. A hanging offense. Else …

  8. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 30, 2018 @1:24 pm

    First, a pet peeve ov mine:

    What became known as "The Steele Dossier" wasn't started by the DNC, but as opposition research begun by conservative anti-Trumpers and The Washington Free Beacon, a very conservative website.

    They were the ones who hired Fusion GPS, which turned to Steele, a former M5 Russia expert for help when tRUMP's connections to Russia became too convoluted for even them to figure.

    Later, the DNC picked up the tab because tRUMP became the GOP candidate.

    Steele – a non-American – independently became so concerned at what he was discovering, that he felt compelled to tell our FBI of his findings.

    Sorry, but our media often ignores the genesis of Steele's document, focusing, instead, on the DNC starting the opposition research – which fits nicely into their "both sides do __________" frame.

    As for this newest (treasonous/traitorous) GOP outrage, all I can think of, is how tRUMP isn't the only Putin poodle in our government.

    tRUMP, Putin's leading  "nuncio" in the US, has his own nuncio in the US HoR:

    Devin Nunes – the GOP head of The House Intelligence Committee.

    All I have to say on the matter of the GOP propaganda document in the news, is all I need to say:

    Devin Nunes, who's largely credited with writing the GOP propaganda document, never even read the FISA document in question.

    He never read it! 

    NEVER!

    And yet, he's releasing his propaganda document criticising the actions of the Assistant US AG – himself, a Republican, and nominated for the position by tRUMP – DESPITE DIRE WARNINGS ABOUT THE RELEASE FROM OTHER  US NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCIES.

     So, what Nunes is doing, is releasing a book review on s book he never read!  All, to protect the publisher – the POTUS.

     Which begs the question, 'how many other treasonous, traitorous tools does Putin have use of in  our government?'

    The next e-mail or letter I send to a Republican politician, will begin with the following:

    "Dear Comrade __________…"  



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