It was a matter of dire importance.
This Devin Nunes-crafted memo – 4 pages filled from margin to margin with tales of insidious intent by the upper echelons of the FBI – could be the bombshell that turns our entire system of government inside-out.
They’ve teased this memo for several weeks with no payoff. They’ve hashtagged it and whipped up the Trumpian base to a high froth. It has become a social media specter, with everybody making guesses of what’s in it, and just how damaging it may be.
Republicans with the House Intelligence Committee voted earlier this week to release the memo, without consulting with the minority party on the committee, as required, and against the urging of Trump-appointed Justice Department officials, who say the information rumored to be in the memo is classified and could put national security at risk.
Now that the vote has been taken and the majority of the committee are ready to blow the lid off of the seething wretches of the FBI, out to destroy King Trump, you’d think they’d rush ahead with its release, but that’s not what’s happening, either.
Yeah. It’s so important. It really, really is.
But it can wait.
The White House announced on Tuesday that there’s no plans to release the memo, so you guys can just keep hashtagging about it, for now.
Meanwhile, let’s not forget the author of the memo has been working with the Trump team since before the transition.
Let’s also keep in mind that Nunes was forced to recuse himself from the committee’s Russia probe, after some sketchy behavior with unauthorized disclosures of classified information. His claim was that Trump’s team had been unlawfully caught up in surveillance. This was his way of backing Trump’s ridiculous tweet about having been “wiretapped” by former President Obama.
Without consulting the very committee he was chairman of, Nunes called a press conference to lend support to Trump’s otherwise baseless claim. As it turned out, senior White House officials had given him the information and sent him out to make an ambiguous claim about “informants.”
Later investigations turned up nothing to substantiate Trump’s tweet or Nunes’ claims.
A new report says that during the vote to release this new Nunes memo, the California congressman was confronted directly about the involvement of the White House in the crafting of the memo.
During Monday’s contentious closed-door committee meeting, Rep. Mike Quigley, a Democrat, asked Nunes point-blank if his staffers had been talking with the White House as they compiled a four-page memo alleging FBI and Justice Department abuses over surveillance of President Trump’s allies in the Russia probe.
According to sources familiar with the exchange, Nunes made a few comments that didn’t answer the question before finally responding, “I’m not answering.”
What we’re hearing about the claims in the memo is that the material is largely unsubstantiated charges of misconduct. Given that it’s only 4-pages, you have to wonder how much evidentiary content could fit. Wouldn’t it have to be a bit more than: “These people said mean things about the president” to be considered as damning as House Republicans want us to believe?
And let’s just say this: If you’ve scoffed, even once, at the Fusion GPS dossier because of unsubstantiated details, but you’re prepared to believe every line of a memo put together by somebody as sketchy as Devin Nunes, you are a hypocrite.
Of those specifically named in the memo, there’s Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Quite convenient, since Rosenstein is the one who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate any collusion or obstruction in the Russia probe.
The New York Times reported this week that Rosenstein this spring signed off on renewing a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign aide Carter Page—who had previously passed documents to a Russian spy—indicating that even Trump appointees saw a sufficient basis for a counterintelligence investigation into Page.
But Rosenstein, who oversees special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Trump’s circle and Russia, is specifically named in Nunes’ memo—and has become a right-wing target of opportunity. After Nunes won a vote on Monday to declassify his memo, the Fox News commentator Jeanine Pirro said on Sean Hannity’s show that the alleged abuses in the memo merit a special prosecutor, “not Rod Rosenstein, who right now is in the middle of all this.”
Just a note: Is Rosenstein psychic? How elaborate did the plot have to be to know in advance that Attorney General Jeff Sessions would A) get wrapped up in the Russia probe, after not disclosing conversations he had as a senator with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and B) would recuse himself, leaving Rosenstein in charge to appoint a special counsel?
Pirro needs to trot back into the woods to do more idiotic segments on hunting down past presidential candidates that have nothing to do with what’s going on today.
Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, tweeted Wednesday that Nunes’ memo is “a partisan sham cooked up to undermine the FBI, DOJ, and the Mueller probe. House Republicans are playing a very dangerous game.”
That would be the Mark Warner WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange was prepared to feed information on to Sean Hannity, through “secure channels,” after DMing a Texas woman posing as Hannity on Twitter.
It is also unclear if the House intelligence committee’s Russia investigation will go anywhere. It has not held an open hearing since Nov. 1, and now Nunes has opened a murky investigation into the FBI and Justice Department itself—one that Nunes used on Monday to dismiss law enforcement concerns about releasing his memo.
Because they’re not serious about resolving concerns over Russia meddling in a U.S. election. They’d rather deflect and avoid, altogether.