No, the Grassley/Graham Referral Does Not Confirm the FBI Misled FISA

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., right, accompanied by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 13, 2007, to discuss the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2007. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

As more of the information drips out related to the FISA court and Carter Page, the incomplete information causes Trump defenders to announce, “We have uncovered more malfeasance on the part of the deep state effort to take down the Trump campaign! Mwahahahahahahahaaaaaa!” The only thing it doesn’t come with is an animated GIF of a silent movie era villain twisting his mustache while cackling.

However, when those without a serious ax to grind, look at the information, what emerges is far less threatening. Kimberley Strassel at the Wall Street Journal, whose work I usually admire has positioned herself along with several authors of The Federalist as de facto Trump administration lackeys. They’ve become the yin to the yang of people such as Eric Garland and Louise Mensch. While the latter will believe nearly anything about Trump that makes him look bad, the former will do whatever they can to make the FBI look as if they carried out a politically motivated sham counterintelligence investigation designed only to take down Donald Trump.

Strassel tweeted this morning about the referral:

Someone who doesn’t look at these issues with a jaundiced eye is Gabe Malor, a DC-based attorney, and writer for various publications such as The Washington Examiner and The Federalist. He tweeted:

Gabe’s original thread is well worth reading because what you come away with is a more level-headed look at what happened. Twitchy gathered up all the tweets, but there are a couple that are worth sharing here:

Notice what Malor did not do. He did not exonerate the FBI. In fact, he leaves open the possibility that yes, the FBI may have acted improperly, but no, the Grassley/Graham referral like the Nunes memo does not make the case. 

If you want to know who’s winning in all of this, naturally it is Donald Trump. Devin Nunes is an idiot. Adam Schiff is an idiot. Neither of those political tools should ever set foot inside a House Intelligence Committee meeting again. Those two, along with Trump and members of the conservative and liberal media, have turned this entire thing into a political circus. Most Republicans will be dumb enough to put their reputations on the line for a chump like Carter Page while the Democrats continue to make themselves look like imbeciles convinced Donald Trump is a puppet for Putin. No matter what happens, partisans on both sides have managed to muddy the waters so much it will never clear up.

Thankfully, some level heads remain. Look to people like Malor for an unvarnished look at things. You’ll learn more.