The D.C. press corps and Democratic Party are locked in a bitter narrative struggle with those seeking transparency ahead of the anticipated release of a FISA surveillance memo drafted by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA).
It is as if the encrusted forces of the D.C. swamp elite have been awakened and their forces mustered in a heaven-and-earth battle against the release of the document, which Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) assures us shows the “implication” of senior DOJ and FBI officials, as well as the “rotten” basis of the Mueller probe.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has called for Nunes to be removed as House Intelligence Chair. Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called the FISA memo “dangerous” and “illegitimate” in a letter to Paul Ryan.
Both Democrats have asked the current Speaker of the House to intervene, so that the four-page memo, an excerpt from an approximately 50-page document, never sees the light of day.
“Congress doing its job in conducting legitimate oversight over a very unique law, FISA, and if mistakes were made and if individuals did something wrong then it is our job as the legislative branch of government to conduct oversight over the executive branch if abuses were made,” Ryan said about the document. “What this is not is an indictment on our institutions of our justice system. This memo is not an indictment of the FBI, of the Department of Justice.”
Even former Attorney General Eric Holder, who presumably should not have seen the intelligence document, has weighed in on the matter, calling it the “bogus, contrived Nunes memo” and stated that the intention of the release is to “derail a legitimate criminal investigation.” Holder, who ran the highly politicized Department of Justice under Obama, also used the “dangerous” and “irresponsible” refrain.
Former FBI director James Comey, who held office under Obama and briefly under Trump until his firing, also made known his opposition to the memo’s release with a statement on Twitter that, “All should appreciate the FBI speaking up. I wish more of our leaders would.” Then he added, “But take heart: American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up.”
President Donald Trump is now speaking up on the sudden desire among former Obama officials, Democratic politicians, and the D.C. press corps to suppress the document’s release.
“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. Rank & File are great people!” he wrote.
Then the president quoted Tom Fitton, the president of the legal watchdog group Judicial Watch.
“You had Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party try to hide the fact that they gave money to GPS Fusion to create a Dossier which was used by their allies in the Obama Administration to convince a Court misleadingly, by all accounts, to spy on the Trump Team,” Trump tweeted, citing Fitton’s words.
There are a number of anticipated things in the Nunes memo that some political observers expect to find. One is that a FISA warrant that was previously rejected was submitted for approval based in part on the Steele dossier. The dossier itself is a concoction of “raw intelligence” manufactured on behalf of Fusion GPS, which is known in the beltway to be a Democratic Party opposition research firm.
Never before have we seen such a life-and-death refusal on the part of the Democratic Party to prevent the release of a document like the Nunes memo. As it has leaked numerous documents to the press under the Trump administration, one has to wonder: What’s really in there?
Editor’s note: This article was updated after publication.
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