House Intelligence Committee Releases Memo Claiming Bias In Russia Investigation

As anticipated, earlier today President Trump authorized the House Intelligence Committee to release the memorandum prepared by Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and the Republican staff of the committee purporting to share what they claim to is bias by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department in the initial requests for surveillance against at least one official connected to the Trump campaign, and shortly after that authorization was given the memo was released to the public:

GOP memo alleging surveillance abuses by the FBI has been released, intensifying a fight between the White House and Republican lawmakers, on one side, and the nation’s top law enforcement agency over whether the origins of a probe into Russian interference in 2016 were tainted by political bias.

President Trump had approved release of the memo without redactions Friday morning.

The four-page, newly declassified memo written by the Republican staffers for the House Intelligence Committee said the findings “raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain (Justice Department) and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC),” calling it “a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.”

The memo accuses former officials who approved the surveillance applications – a group that includes former FBI Director James B. Comey, his former deputy Andrew McCabe, former deputy attorney general Sally Yates and current Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein — of signing off on court surveillance requests that omitted key facts about the political motivations of the person supplying some of the information, Christopher Steele, a former intelligence officer in Britain.

The memo says Steele “was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations — an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI.”

The memo is not an intelligence document and reflects information the committee has gathered, which Democrats, the FBI and Justice Department have criticized as incomplete and misleading.

Current and former law enforcement officials said a major concern inside the FBI is that the rules governing classified information will impede their ability to respond to the memo’s accusations when it becomes public.

The president told reporters in the Oval Office, “I think it’s a disgrace what’s happening in our country. . . . A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves and much worse than that.”

The FBI and the Justice Department had lobbied strenuously against the memo’s release. In a statement Wednesday, the FBI had said it was “gravely concerned” that key facts were missing from the memo, which, it said, left an inaccurate impression of how the agency conducted surveillance under the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

(…)

Friday morning, the president tweeted in anticipation of the memo’s release, saying: “The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans – something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago.” He added: “Rank & File are great people!”

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted in response, “No, Mr. President it’s worse than that. The country’s top elected leader has agreed to selectively and misleadingly release classified info to attack the FBI — that’s what would have been unthinkable a short time ago.”

The memo has been the subject of intense debate in Congress, but the fight ratcheted up this week when the House Intelligence Committee voted along party lines to make the document public under a process that gives the president up to five days to block its release. The committee Republicans also voted not to release a Democratic rebuttal memo, saying they would allow that document to be made public in the future.

More from The New York Times:

WASHINGTON — House Republicans released a previously secret memo on Friday in which they accuse senior officials at the F.B.I. and Justice Department of bias in the early stages of the Russia investigation.

The House Intelligence Committee made the memo public after a week of pleading from senior national security officials not to disclose the classified details, reading it aloud on a conference call with reporters after President Trump declassified the memo.

“A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves and much worse than that,” Mr. Trump said on Friday.

The memo alleges that senior government officials favored Democrats over Republicans and accuses federal law enforcement officials of abusing their authorities when they sought permission to surveil a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page.

Democrats say it is a Republican attempt to push a narrative that would undercut the investigation into Russia’s 2016 election meddling and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.

Earlier on Friday, Mr. Trump said top officials and investigators at the F.B.I. and Justice Department have “politicized the sacred investigative process.”

The early-morning Twitter post reinforced reports that Mr. Trump, in allowing the Republican memo to be released, is seeking to clean house in the upper ranks of the F.B.I. and the Justice Department, even at the risk of losing his own F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray. Earlier this week, The F.B.I. made an unusual public plea not to release the document, which could reveal classified sources and methods. Mr. Trump declassified the memo without requesting any redactions.

Mr. Trump had an opportunity to block the memo, which his own top national security officials have requested because of national security concerns. The document was written by aides to Representative Devin Nunes of California, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who has been an avid supporter of Mr. Trump.

In response to Mr. Trump’s Twitter post on Friday, Representative Adam B. Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said it is unthinkable that the top elected official in the United States would release classified information to attack the F.B.I.\

The memorandum focuses on the process that was used to obtain a FISA warrant to monitor the communications with foreign sources of Carter Page, who served as a volunteer adviser to the Trump campaign until September 2016 and has been known to have had contacts with parties connected to the Russian government throughout 2016. The FISA warrant itself was not sought until October 2016, within about two weeks of the Presidential election and several months after the F.B.I. had opened its investigation into Russian interference in the election and contacts between Trump campaign officials and people with ties to the Russian government. As the memorandum admits in its closing paragraphs, that investigation was opened in no small part not because of any of Page’s activities but because of a conversation that George Papadopoulos, another Trump campaign official who has already pled guilty of lying to the F.B.I. and is a cooperating witness in the Mueller investigation. had with an Australian government official who then passed along his concerns to the Bureau. To that extent, it seems clear that any effort by President Trump or his supporters to attempt to use this memorandum or its findings against the Mueller investigation would seem to be a complete non-starter. Even if all of the allegations of the memo are taken as true and completely supported by the underlying and still-classified FISA warrant, they do nothing to call that investigation into question except perhaps in the minds of those who are already opposed to it and seeking to undermine it.

The main focus of the memo, then, centers on the FISA warrant application against Page, which the memorandum claims was based on a dossier put together by Christopher Steele, a former MI6 agent in Russia who had been a long-time consultant for the F.B.I. That dossier, the memorandum claims, was ultimately paid for by an organization called Fusion GPS which was funded by the Democratic National Committee and perhaps in part by Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign. What the application does not reveal, though, is the fact that Fusion GPS also received funds related to the preparation of the Steele Dossier from the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website that was opposed to Trump during the race for the Republican nomination. The memo claims that the Bureau did not disclose these facts to the FISA Court when they applied for the warrant and alleged that the only other evidence that they offered in support of their probable cause argument for the warrant was a Yahoo News report that itself was based on the Steele Dossier. All of this is apparently meant to undermine the veracity of the Justice Department officials connected to obtaining the warrant, including the current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who is heading up the Russia investigation since Attorney General Jeff Session has recused himself from involvement in the investigation.

Having read the memo, it seems fairly clear that there is far less to the information that it contains than what has been hyped by Republicans on Capitol Hill, President Trump, and his supporters. For example, the Nunes Memo says that former F.B.I. Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said that the warrant would not have been sought without the information in the Steele dossier. Importantly, though, this part of the is based on a second-hand statement of what McCabe said It does not say that the warrant would not have been obtained without the Steele dossier, nor does it discuss at all any other information that was provided to the FISA Court at the time of the initial warrant application or on the three occasions that it was renewed with the Court’s approval. This is important because the crucial question is whether the Court had probable cause to grant the warrant to surveil Page, and the Nunes memo does not answer this question. All we know is that the Steele dossier was used in the warrant application, that its links to Fusion GPS, the DNC, or the Washington Free Beacon were not disclosed to the Court despite the fact that some officials in the Bureau were alleged aware of that. We don’t know, and the memo does not tell us, is what else was in the warrant application and whether they independently support the FISA Court’s finding of probable cause for the surveillance of Carter Page. Finally, nothing in the memorandum even comes close to alleging, much less proving illegal or unethical action on the part of either the F.B.I. or the FISA Court in connection with the investigation.

Given all of this, it seems clear to me that this memorandum amounts in the end to much ado about nothing. Those people who are already inclined to believe that the investigation into Russian interference in the election and the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russian officials will cite it as further evidence for their already pre-made conclusion that the investigation is based on nothing and that it is, to use Trump’s term, “Fake News.” As far as the investigation actually goes through, there’s really nothing in the memo that calls that investigation into question or otherwise. We will get more of an idea of the impact of the memo as the days go by, but as things stand right now this entire Nunes memo controversy seems to me to be far less substantial than what the President and Republicans have been claiming. The crucial questions regarding the FISA warrant against Page cannot be answered based on the memorandum itself, for example, and that will only happen if and when the warrant application itself and the memorandum prepared in rebuttal by the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are released. Based on this memorandum alone, though, it’s clear that the only people who will find anything in this memorandum significant are the ones who have already joined in with the President’s assertion that the Russia investigation is nothing but a witch hunt.

Here’s the memorandum itself:

Nunes Memo by Doug Mataconis on Scribd

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FILED UNDER: Congress, Donald Trump, Doug Mataconis, Intelligence, National Security, Politicians, Russia Investigation, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    Much ado about nothing to people with actual knowledge, smoking gun to Trump’s brainwashed fans. And even further corrosion of democratic norms, as it’s been termed here recently.




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  2. Dumb Brit says:

    Fully agree, this is a nothing burger that also scores own goals against POTUS and the congressional Republicans. There does not seem to be anything that suggests collusion by FBI to misinform the FISA court (that renewed the warrant 3 further times!). Time for a few good men to stand up to this unnecessary overreach. Director Wray, Duputy AG, senate Republican elder statesmen have been given the ammunition to further wound the Trump presidency, possibly fatally.




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  3. michael reynolds says:

    The FISA request was actually a continuation of previous FISA warrants issued regarding Carter Page. In other words, Carter Page was on FBI radar long before the Steele Dossier came into it. And for excellent reasons: Page was making friends with Russian intelligence agents and giving speeches in Russia critical of US policy.

    Surprisingly – surprisingly, I say – this pathetic document ignores that. And a mountain of other evidence.

    So, as you say, Doug: a big bunch of nothing. To a sane person.

    Can even Trumpaloons be dull enough to think this helps them? Stay tuned for comments below.




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  4. Paul L. says:

    Progressive talking point collapses into a dwarf star.
    Devin Nunes’ ‘Memo’ Will Never, Ever See The Light Of Day
    Next progressive talking point if it turns out there was a 25 person FBI task force spying on Trump 24/7 and sending daily reports to the Obama White House and Clinton Campaign.
    “We did not have time for Constitutional BullSh_t for getting a roving wiretap on Donald Trump. Nothing to see here. Do not question or undermine Law Enforcement. Trump is a danger to the county.”




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  5. teve tory says:

    I can only imagine how it’s being spun at fox news, breitbart, etc. “Devastating classified memo shows top fbi officials secretly colluded with Killary!”




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  6. teve tory says:

    kevin drum lays out how every element you need for fascism is present right here, right now.

    I am, generally speaking, pretty confident that we will all survive Donald Trump and the country will get back to normal. But it’s stuff like this that gives me pause. If you want to make a case for the slippery slope into fascism or whatever, this is your best bet. Real authoritarians—as opposed to wannabes like Trump—would recognize this playbook and nod approvingly. The first thing you have to do is get control of the security forces. That means smearing the leadership as corrupt and then purging them, to be replaced by loyalists.

    Of course, you can’t do this unless your own party goes along. And boy howdy, are Republicans going along.

    You need a core of devoted followers. Trump has that in evangelicals and racially aggrieved whites.

    You need the press to report everything at least neutrally even if they know your charges are obviously phony. That’s happening too.

    And you need a weak opposition. Trump has that because, let’s face it, the FBI has never been a liberal favorite. Most of the time we’re griping about their racial insensitivity or their treatment of suspects or their mass surveillance. It’s hard to turn on a dime and suddenly become their biggest boosters.

    Finally, you need to put on a show for the masses, and we’re sure getting that with the Nunes memo, aren’t we?




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  7. michael reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:
    Literally no part of that is true. In fact, it’s not even coherent. You sound hysterical.




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  8. JKB says:

    Interesting response by Chucky Schumer and other top Congressional Dems. They see more there, there than most of the rest of us.

    What do they fear will fester into a boil in all this?




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  9. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    In other words: you have nothing to contribute because A) You know nothing about the investigation, and B) Fox and Infowars have not yet spoon-fed you your ‘opinions.’

    Noted.




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  10. KM says:

    @Dumb Brit :

    Seriously. They’ve just admitted the dossier exists as well as other documents that they’ve been denying for ages.

    #ReleaseTheDossier and prove FISA wasn’t warranted. Go on, do it – if it’s all lies then what’s the problem?? Don’t just whine it’s “Dem-created”, prove it’s false!

    #ReleaseALLtheMemos so we can see what Nunes didn’t want to include. To quote JKB, this is a clearly “partisan-produced” document so we shouldn’t trust it alone – where’s the rest of the evidence?




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  11. Steve V says:

    This is all so surreal.




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  12. KM says:

    All of this is apparently meant to undermine the veracity of the Justice Department officials connected to obtaining the warrant as a whole

    FIFY. They’re not singling out people, goodness no. Trump’s attacking the FBI and DOJ proper. Nunes’ is essentially bitching the FBI is being mean to somebody who never should have been within 100ft of a Presidential campaign. Trump did this to himself, bringing in someone a background check would have raised some red flags over….. or would have in a legitimate campaign. Nobody was spying on Trump, they were watching the scuzzy bastard Trump hired and guess what? They found out some stuff that demonstrated WHY Trump wanted said scuzzy bastard involved.

    It’s always the little things that give you away. A busted tail light leads to the discovery of a serial killer, not paying your taxes takes down a mobster. Trump’s “best people” are going to be the ones to take him down and it’s solely because he doesn’t have the sense God gave a goose to not sh^t where he eats.




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  13. gVOR08 says:

    None of these Republican clowns seem the least bit concerned that Carter Page was playing footsie with Russians.

    I have faith in our democratic institutions ability to survive this assault. (Given their history, it feels weird to call the FBI a democratic institution. But they do seem more professional than they did back in the day when J. Edgar the Hoove was trying to get MLK to commit suicide.) However, my faith is tempered by two things; the pile of money the Mercers, Kochs, Adelsons, etc. are willing to spend, and the Mighty Right Wing Wurlitzer. FOX News will be playing this stupid memo up as a bigger scandal than Watergate. (I think that’s a quote, actually.) Their current headline is Bombshell doc says British spy’s dossier, paid for by Clinton campaign, key to Trump snooping warrant

    I think it’s time to start asking publicly if it’s possible to have both FOX News and democracy.




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  14. Mister Bluster says:

    @gVOR08:..if it’s possible to have both FOX News and democracy.

    And your remedy for this is…???




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  15. John430 says:

    @teve tory: Don’t know about “devastating” but it does definitely show a willingness by top FBI officials to “lean to Hillary”, thus they themselves are tampering with the election. One can’t help but notice that Dems tried to tamper with the election and having been unsuccessful, are trying to overturn the results.




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  16. KM says:

    @gVOR08:

    a bigger scandal than Watergate

    Well Rivera did say if people like Hannity were around for Nixon, he wouldn’t have had to resign.

    I’m waiting from someone to call the FBI bigger traitors then Benedict Arnold or Judas. Cuz you know, Trump’s clearly more important then Washington or Jesus so this *has* to be the biggest betrayal in all of history!!!11!!




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  17. Davebo says:

    @John430: Right..

    Announcing a renewed investigation publicly days before the election is “leaning to Hillary”.

    Looks, it’s obvious you haven’t read the memo and I understand. It is almost 4 pages long and all.

    But could you just hold your horses till Alex gives you the talking points?




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  18. teve tory says:

    FIFY. They’re not singling out people, goodness no. Trump’s attacking the FBI and DOJ proper.

    When I checked drudge an hour or so ago the head was the FBI seal with the huge-point word DISGRACED underneath.

    At this point why wouldn’t trump fire Mueller, Wray, and anybody else with integrity, have any objecting judges placed under house arrest, and install Dinesh D’Sousa or some other blindly hyperpartisan idiot to charge her with 500,000 crimes against The People. And have her publicly arrested and placed in shackles? Then he could hold rallies where he chants LOCKED HER UP!

    …and his dipshit supporters would cheer.




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  19. Chip Daniels says:

    The damage being done here is the gradual chipping away of public trust in our law enforcement institutions and government, to where everything is politicized.

    Trump demanding personal loyalty from law enforcement while simultaneously accusing them of bias- its the old saying of “every accusation a confession”.




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  20. Paul L. says:

    gradual chipping away of public trust in our law enforcement institutions

    That is why we need a Federal Law Enforcement Bill of Rights to keep any information that undermines the Law Enforcement Caste away from the Public.




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  21. Gustopher says:

    This is the least impressive, “devastating” memo I have seen. Given how little integrity these people have, couldn’t they have just made up something more interesting?

    Carter Page was being watched for a while before the dossier, and nothing in the dossier has been proven to be untrue anyway… This memo is just dumb.




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  22. Paul L. says:

    Remember according to CNN the Steele Trump dossier.released by BuzzFeed was a fake.
    True Steele Trump dossier used to get the roving FISA wiretap on Trump is a genuine smoking gun.
    I am sure at Trump’s impeachment later this year, the FBI will be able to confirm all the details in the True Steele Trump dossier.




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  23. teve tory says:

    Carter Page moved to Moscow and started making contact with Kremlin-connected oligarchs in 2004. He’s been investigated by US law enforcement and spy agencies since 2013. The US had tape of Russian Agents talking about developing him as an asset in 2013.

    Yeah clearly just partisan Liebrals at the FBI.




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  24. Moosebreath says:

    The memo is a nothing burger, with all the contents leaked out weeks in advance. On the other hand, the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee say that they have information which undermines what is said in the memo, which Republicans on the Committee refused to allow to be released, and which has not leaked out yet.

    So who takes national security more seriously, the Republicans who are willing to leak stuff they know can be refuted to score political points, or the Democrats who don’t?




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  25. MarkedMan says:

    If I understand this memo correctly, it implies (but does not say) that the FBI would not have gone after Page absent the Steele dossier. Ok, my initial action is “so what?” Judges don’t demand iron clad proof before opening an investigation, because, well, you don’t need an investigation if you already have iron clad proof. But then I mentally reviewed some of the things that got left out of this memo and all I can say is that I hope they become Dem talking points. Think about it. A drunken Trump campaign official brags to a diplomat that they are getting dirt on Hillary directly from the Kremlin. And there happens to be another campaign official, announced in the same round of appointments as the drunk, who worked together during the campaign and this other guy has been on the radar of both law enforcement and national security agencies for years because of his suspicious Russian ties. But the Repub contention is that the FBI would have never made the connection absent the Steele memo? Jeez, what a bunch of frigging maroons.




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  26. Mikey says:

    @teve tory:

    …and his dipshit supporters would cheer.

    I think at this point we should dispense with the illusion Republicans give a frog’s bouncing fat ass about the Constitution (save the 2nd amendment they use to excuse massacres of children), the rule of law, or any of the political norms that have separated us from the banana republics since our nation was founded.

    No, all they really care about is having an authority figure to worship, and if that authority figure is also an overt racist and serial sexual assaulter of women, so much the better.

    As far as this memo, it’s completely ridiculous to anyone familiar with the FISA warrant process. Really, it’s little more than a campaign ad stamped “TOP SECRET/NOFORN.”

    At least we can take some comfort in the fact it’s so lame and empty its release hasn’t really done the exceptionally grave damage to national security one should expect a TS/NOFORN document to do.




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  27. Hal_10000 says:

    As someone who’s been a bit skeptical that there’s a lot of there there on the Russia thing, I’ll agree that this is a big nothingburger. At no point does the Nunes memo address wether the information in the Steele dossier used to justify the warrant was corroborated. At no point does it address whether the uncorroborated stuff was material to the warrant. He misquotes Comey for saying the entire dossier was uncorroborated when Comey only said parts of it were. And the gripping hand is that this warrant was issued AFTER Carter left the Trump Campaign. So how in God’s name was this spying on the Trump campaign? Does being on the Trump Campaign give you lifelong immunity for surveillance?

    Nunes is not stupid. It is my general rule that when not-stupid people are asking the wrong questions, it’s because the right questions aren’t giving them the answers they want. This memo persuades me that, at worst, the FBI was a bit loose with how they justified the warrant, hardly a unique event in American jurisprudence.

    And that’s a big point here. I said this on Twitter, but it’s worth repeating: Every day, hundreds of violent no-knock SWAT raids are launched in this country, many on a far shakier basis than the Carter Page FISA warrant. I’ll believe Republicans care about the latter when they care about the former.




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  28. al-Ameda says:

    @John430:

    Don’t know about “devastating” but it does definitely show a willingness by top FBI officials to “lean to Hillary”, thus they themselves are tampering with the election. One can’t help but notice that Dems tried to tamper with the election and having been unsuccessful, are trying to overturn the results.

    One cannot help but notice that Republicans have come unhinged at the possibility that Trump’s possible money laundering arrangements with Russians, and his thinly veiled obstruction of justice activities might actually be Mueller’s leads these days,

    By the way, you DO know that Hillary did NOT win the election, right? And, you DO recall that the biased-toward-Hillary FBI disclosed shortly before the election that they were re-opening an inquiry into that e-mail server bullsh**, right?




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  29. the Q says:

    First off, Nunes is as dumb as a rock. Ask anyone in his district.

    Second, Paul L, that Steele dossier was first commissioned by Republicans. Fusion in 2015 began investigating Trump under a contract with the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website financially supported by GOP megadonor Paul Singer, so stop with the ridiculous wingnut conspiracy rants that this was all Hillary.

    Trump will not resign because of collusion or obstruction charges being filed, rather, he will be indicted on massive money laundering charges once his finances are investigated. It will come out that those doing the laundering will turn out to be Russian banks and oligarchs from the mid 90s when the USSR was dissolving and the need to get cash out was paramount. Enter Trump who was hemorrhaging cash flow and needed the $$$ or don’t you dipschites on the right remember:

    In July 1991, Trump’s Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy. He could not keep up with debts on two other Atlantic City casinos -Trump’s Castle and Trump Plaza Casinos as those two properties declared bankruptcy in 1992. A fourth property, the Plaza Hotel in New York, declared bankruptcy in 1992 after amassing huge debt.

    So, in desperation he turned to “unconventional sources” of funding. That Russian cash and the Clinton Democratic boom economy saved the bas tard from the abyss.




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  30. Paul L. says:

    @the Q:

    The true “Steele dossier was first commissioned by Republicans”

    That is not true.

    This is a lie. The dossier did not exist until after the DNC/Clinton campaign hired Fusion GPS. Steele wasn’t hired until Fusion was already on the DNC payroll.




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  31. Jake says:

    Ha ha

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/269211/memo-reveals-coup-against-america-daniel-greenfield#disqus_thread

    The Democrats and the media spent a week lying to the American people about the “memo.”

    The memo was full of “classified information” and releasing” it would expose “our spying methods.” By “our,” they didn’t mean American spying methods. They meant Obama’s spying methods.




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  32. al-Ameda says:

    @Jake:

    Ha ha

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/269211/memo-reveals-coup-against-america-daniel-

    Ha ha, indeed. My cat digitally craps on FrontPageMag.com.




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  33. Jake says:

    Only attack the site . Facts are against you

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhYCxQgUBuU




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  34. Kathy says:

    Damn. it’s been hours since I read the memo and I’m still yawning over it.




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  35. Kathy says:

    @Hal_10000:

    And the gripping hand is that this warrant was issued AFTER Carter left the Trump Campaign.

    I see we have a Motie lover 😉




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  36. Tyrell says:

    “Much ado about nothing”: sounds familiar; like the activities of the Mueller shenanigan. What we see is a “misdirection”, a distracting of the people away from real issues (Hawaii alert pandemonium).




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  37. Teve tory says:

    BREAKING: The stock market is experiencing the single worst day of Trump’s presidency. The Dow has dropped by over 500 points.

    TRANSLATION: Even Wall Street knows the memo is inaccurate and that the writing is on the wall for Trump’s presidency. #MemoDay

    ryan knight




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  38. Mikey says:

    I haven’t been so underwhelmed since Al Capone’s vault.




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  39. Jake says:

    @Teve tory:

    Funny you hope for the worst because of your hate for Trump. You lost your way

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Js4TMKutCo




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  40. Tyrell says:

    @Mikey: Yes, I well remember that, and the infamous Trump Income tax meltdown of Rachel Maddow.
    “Well, I guess that’s it”




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  41. michael reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:
    No, dummy, you are wrong. Q is correct.

    You know nothing about this issue because you suck at the Murdoch teat and gobble up Breitbart bullsh!t so your tiny little brain is full of nonsense – a fact that is instantly obvious any time you ‘opine’ over here in the real world.

    If you consume a diet of lies don’t be surprised when people laugh at you.




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  42. michael reynolds says:

    The proof that the memo has become a fiasco is in the incoherence of the above Trumpaloons. None in my experience has shown evidence of independent thought but they are all reliable regurgitators of the Trump line du jour. And they got no line. They’re just making noise because they know they’re supposed to make noise, but they have no dots to connect, no story to tell because why? Because the memo is such a waste of time even the professional liars at Fox and Breitbart can’t cook up a narrative.

    Want to know how the other side sees today’s big release? Rachel Maddow is grinning ear to ear.




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  43. John430 says:

    @al-Ameda: Yeah and they whitewashed the hell out of the Hillary “investigation”. They watered down Comey’s language that showed her actions to be criminally liable for “gross negligence” to read that she was merely careless. I guess you have no problem with Democrat scum perverting justice.




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  44. Teve tory says:

    RED STATE IS CRITICISING THE MEMO
    FREAKING RED STATE.




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  45. michael reynolds says:

    Now Joy Reid is laughing. She’s filling in for Lawrence O’Donnell who probably wishes he’d gone to work today, so that he could laugh, too.




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  46. Teve tory says:

    Sean Hannity who’s been calling Trump behind the scenes, went so far out on a limb, he told his listeners this will be worse than Watergate. When the text came out and everybody read it he got soooooo pissed. He basically texted Comey out of the blue and told him to shut up. It was hilarious




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  47. de stijl says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The proof that the memo has become a fiasco is in the incoherence of the above Trumpaloons.

    It will be interesting to see how polling changes after this.

    There is a political rule-of-thumb aphorism bandied about that boils down to, “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.”

    The Rs sell a simple narrative, but have a very complex explanation.

    That seems to favor Ds over Rs here in that the Rs have to contort themselves to explain that the FBI is tainted and the Trump-Russia investigation is bogus and illegitimate.

    On the other hand, the Rs were the aggressors in the debate in alleging this and then offering this “evidence” in the Nunes memo. It’s BS, but it was marketed well and pre-sold very effectively as a game-changer; the Nunes Memo has been the story for weeks.

    Will the well-sold narrative / headline win, or will the details?

    A determining factor is that the Rs is that they are already known for BS’ing everything for decades. Everything. That trait may haunt them here.

    Some folks will evaluate this on the merits. Other folks will evaluate it on whether it “feels right.”

    Polling will tell if Rs calculated correctly in this instance.




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  48. MarkedMan says:

    That Maddow piece is just devasting, once you get past the first few minutes of her just laughing at the sad trombone of fail that is this memo. Long and gloating, but really worth watching in its entirety. One thing she mentions in passing is that Page was on the show in October and started rambling on about how he would be vindicated because Paul Ryan would green light the release of information about a FISA warrant. As Maddow tells it, no one knew what it meant at the time because, well, Page is a bit of a strange ranger and tends to go off on sketchy tangents. But by god, two days Ryan ago did indeed green light this memo which focuses almost entirely about the FISA warrant on Page.

    Maddow didn’t really follow this trail very far, but it seems that someone had discussed the FISA warrant with Carter Page, someone who accurately knew Ryan’s thinking. I’m pretty sure it is a criminal offense to reveal FISA information to anyone, much less to the subject of a warrant. And now it seems that Mueller is in the process of flipping Page. Which means he’ll have to reveal how he knew. If I were him I would ask for round the clock guards at my door and a food taster.




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  49. de stijl says:

    My favorite feature of the memo is when dates go from very specific to quite vague without further explanation. Things we want you pay attention to happened on this date. Things we do not want you to pay attention to happened in this month. Which preceded which? Who can tell? Time is slippery when you think about it.

    And then in the very last paragraph: Yeah, there was a FISA warrant issued on Page before the Steele dossier was ever brought to the FBI’s attention. So what?




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  50. al-Ameda says:

    @John430:

    Yeah and they whitewashed the hell out of the Hillary “investigation”. They watered down Comey’s language that showed her actions to be criminally liable for “gross negligence” to read that she was merely careless. I guess you have no problem with Democrat scum perverting justice.

    Oh sure. Just as you had no problem with Colin Powell deleting 2 million emails as he was going out the door?

    There is nothing here but #FakeNews, #FakeMemos and a prayer that Trump will fire Rosenstein and the recess appointment will fire Mueller. That’s it.




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  51. gVOR08 says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    @gVOR08:..if it’s possible to have both FOX News and democracy.

    And your remedy for this is…???

    As in psych, you can’t cure the problem until you want to cure the problem. An old boss of mine taught me a great lesson in project management – if you can’t come up with a plan, start moving in the right direction and see what turns up. I don’t have a plan, but FOX News, and the rest of the RWNJ fake news media are at the heart of our political dysfunction. Maybe for starters we should stop being too PC to mention it.




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  52. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: On a day like this, it is particularly ironic that PaulL.’s blog is called “Kingdom of Idiots.”




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