After weeks of delay, the blistering Democratic counter to the memo released by Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) has gone live. After reading this, it will quickly become apparent exactly why the White House and Republicans on the Intelligence Committee didn’t want this new memo released.
The original memo attempted to accuse the FBI and the Department of Justice of being part of a conspiracy to undermine President Donald Trump. The new memo pushes back against every allegation in a concise way that not even Republicans are going to be able to counter.
It starts with an opening sentence that attacked the Nunes memo full force.
“The HPSCI Majority’s move to release to the House of Representatives its allegations against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) is a transparent effort to undermine those agencies, the Special Counsel, and Congress’ investigations.”
The original Nunes memo accused the FBI and the DOJ of improperly obtaining the FISA warrant that enabled them to conduct surveillance on former Foreign Policy Advisor, Carter Page. The memo said they used intelligence from someone who was paid for by Democrats to subvert Trump’s presidency by improperly opening the investigation.
First, and perhaps the most damning part of the Democratic response, is that there is definitive proof that the FBI did not base its decision to open the investigation on the Steele dossier in the slightest.
It would have been impossible because the investigation was already well underway.
“Steele’s reporting did not reach the counterintelligence team investigating Russia at FBI headquarters until mid-September 2016, more than seven weeks after the FBI opened its investigation, because the probe’s existence was so closely held within the FBI. … By then, the FBI had already opened sub-inquiries into [redacted] individuals linked to the Trump campaign: [redacted] and former campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page.”
DID NOT OMIT INFORMATION
The original Nunes memo claimed that there were serious omissions regarding where the FBI was gaining the information. It claimed that the FBI didn’t give the whole truth to the Court concerning Steele.
“Contrary to the Majority’s assertion that DOJ fails to mention that Steel’s research was commissioned by ‘political actors’ to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, DOJ in fact informed the Court accurately that Steele was hired by politically motivated U.S. persons and entities and that his research appeared intended for use ‘to discredit’ Trump’s campaign.”
The Majority also falsely claimed in the Nunes memo that the DOJ used information garnered from an article written for Yahoo as evidence to pursue the FISA warrant. This would have been utterly shocking, if true. However, of course, it wasn’t true at all.
“DOJ referenced Isikoff’s article, alongside another article the Majority fails to mention, not to provide separate corroboration for Steele’s reporting, but instead to inform the Court of Page’s public denial of his suspected meetings in Moscow…”
The memo outlines how Page worked in Russia for years. Russian intelligence groomed him, and he met with Russian officials many times. Including one meeting in which he discussed lessening sanctions with Russian energy companies.
After reading this, it is quite clear why Republicans didn’t want this memo released.
Click here to read the whole thing.
Feature Image via YouTube Video.