It was supposed to be all those things that would fill in the blanks spots of Devin Nunes’ dud of a memo.
The Adam Schiff-authored memo is 10-pages long and was released Saturday afternoon.
While the Nunes memo presumes to point out all the abuses by the FBI and Justice Department, a heavily redacted Democrat memo is the counterpoint, and in particular, it insists that in obtaining the FISA warrants on former Trump campaign aide, Carter Page, that all the appropriate information was provided.
The Democratic memo says in its first page that “FBI and DOJ officials did not ‘abuse’ the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process, omit material information, or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign.”
It adds, “In fact, DOJ and the FBI would have been remiss in their duty to protect the country had they not sought a FISA warrant and repeated renewals to conduct temporary surveillance of Carter Page, someone the FBI assessed to be an agent of the Russian government.
In other words, they had reasons for surveilling Page.
Nunes’ memo suggests that in obtaining the FISA warrant, the FBI and Justice Department failed to advise the judge that it was the Clinton campaign and DNC that funded the research that was the basis of the Steele dossier.
Also, the dossier, while having some details right, is also full of otherwise unsubstantiated information.
“[I]n subsequent FISA renewals, DOJ provided additional information obtained through multiple independent sources that corroborated Steele’s reporting,” the document says on page four.
Nearly all of the underlying details to that point are redacted.
The Democratic memo, which is 10 pages, did note up top that the DOJ “met the rigor, transparency, and evidentiary basis needed to meet FISA’s probably requirement.”
Unlike the Nunes memo, Trump refused to release the Democrat version, without the heavy redacting seen throughout. As a result, Schiff worked with the Justice Department, determining what needed to be redacted.
Calling it “politically motivated” – you know, because Nunes’ memo totally wasn’t – the White House released a statement:
“While the Democrats’ memorandum attempts to undercut the President politically, the President supported its release in the interest of transparency. Nevertheless, this politically driven document fails to answer serious concerns raised by the Majority’s memorandum about the use of partisan opposition research from one candidate, loaded with uncorroborated allegations, as a basis to ask a court to approve surveillance of a former associate of another candidate, at the height of a presidential campaign,” said a statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
“As the Majority’s memorandum stated, the FISA judge was never informed that Hillary Clinton and the DNC funded the dossier that was a basis for the Department of Justice’s FISA application,” Sanders’ statement continues. “In addition, the Minority’s memo fails to even address the fact that the Deputy FBI Director told the Committee that had it not been for the dossier, no surveillance order would have been sought. As the President has long stated, neither he nor his campaign ever colluded with a foreign power during the 2016 election, and nothing in today’s memo counters that fact.”
Nunes addressed the memo at CPAC Saturday, suggesting that Republicans wanted the memo out, and that it was further proof that Democrats were trying to hide something.
Yeah, ok. That’s not what it seems like, but Nunes was on a roll.
Schiff, in his first statement since releasing the memo:
“Some time ago, Republicans on our committee released a declassified memo that omitted and distorted key facts in order to mislead the public and impugn the integrity of the FBI,” he tweeted.
“After reviewing the memorandum drafted by committee Republicans that was made public at the beginning of this month, the FBI rightly expressed its ‘grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,'” Schiff added in a statement, referring to the intelligence community’s opposition to the full release of the GOP memo.
At first look, considering the amount of material that is redacted, it appears that there are no more bombshells here in 10 pages than there were in Nunes’ 4 pages.
You can read it for yourself here.