The House Intelligence The committee released Saturday afternoon Democrats’ long-awaited response To Looney MemoThe GOP’s thunderous, partisan investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election seeks to undermine.
The initial Republican effort had quickly fallen down Weight its Own hacking, Therefore, the Democrats’ memo had the practical effect of killing a corpse that had taken its own life. Nunes’ memo was a bad joke from the start, and Schiff’s response underscores that by providing a fresh account of the GOP’s bad faith; But it also provides new details about the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign, including clues pointing to at least four campaign operatives under investigation as of September 2016, including retired General Michael Flynn, who Trump K would go on to become a short-term national. Security Advisor.
The Schiff memo takes the hammer and tongue for the Nines product’s central claim, which is that the process of obtaining a surveillance warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was misused. Nunes and company attempted to show that by portraying the helpless Carter Page, who was for a time an adviser to Trump’s foreign policy, as an innocent thinker and retired British spy Christopher Steele. Suffice it to say that Democrats’ memoranda paint both men in different lights.
“The FBI assessed someone to be an agent of the Russian government,” the memo said, adding that the Justice Department had “probable cause to compel it to understand the evidence and that Page intentionally committed Russian intelligence activities to the United States.” Was helping in “The warrant request explicitly included Page’s history of contact with the Russian government, which had previously targeted him for recruitment as an operative. (This was around the time that Page was painting himself “An informal advisor to Kremlin employees. “) In its official response to Schiff’s memorandum, the GOP states that Page’s description of recruiters”idiot“But it hardly seems provocative; the Russians have a long history of search Useful idiot after all. Even the Russian spies, who showed the target page (who cooperated in the case), kept an eye on him by the FBI, including his interview in March 2016, the same month he was officially on Trump Joined the expedition.
That summer, Page was invited to deliver a commencement address at Moscow’s New Economics School, “an honor usually reserved for well-known publishers,” the memo notes. Actually, President Barack Obama started in 2009. “Mutual knot, “By Moscow’s former bureau chief, Luke Harding, Russian sources indicated that the government arranged the visit. (” Page’s lecture was uniquely awkward – the controversial delightful verge on the bizarre, “Harding writes.)
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The initial FISA warrant was terminated three times, meaning that four different (Republican-appointed) judges signed it; And had to produce really useful information for the extension to be approved. Indeed, Democrats noted that “the DOJ provided additional information obtained through several independent sources” in its renewal, though specific examples have been largely redrawn, and one of the final notes states that In subsequent renewals the “FISA application” was updated by new information. “Some of that information gave Page’s oath testimony about whether or not he met directly with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.
The specific reference to the “additional information” described above is the steel preserve; The information confirms Steele’s reporting about the page, the memo insists.
If the GOP’s page protection is shocking then its Steel target, An accomplished British former spy with expertise in Russia and Vladimir Putin.
Nunes’ memo stated that the FBI failed to tell the court that Steele’s work was funded by partial sources in an attempt to find negative information about Trump; Republicans later admitted that It’s untrue, That F.B.I. did Make a disclosure but ensure that it was in a footnote. The use of Schiff Memo provides precise language:
The identified American man did not advise Source # 1 as the motivation behind the research into Candidate # 1’s relations with Russia. The FBI speculates that the identified American individuals were potentially looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate # 1’s campaign.
The “identified American man” is Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, who hired Steele; Source # 1 is steel; And the candidate # 1 is Trump. If all nicknames seem unnecessarily opaque, as the standard operating procedure is to avoid naming American citizens and entities – or in this case, possibly citizens of US allied countries – in these types of filings, a practice known as “unmasking” “Is called. Tunes are sometimes very annoying with unmasking; But in this case he wants to do it more.
But the FISA brief is clear enough: the information provided was likely the product of biased opposition research; Whether it came from the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee or some other political group is beside the point. The big point is whether the information and its source are reliable. And Steele, who worked with the FBI on other matters, Helping the Bureau in removing corruption in FIFA including, The governing body of international soccer.
Nunes’ memo calls attention to the fact that Steele spoke to reporters, frustrated by the FBI’s apparent inaction as a campaign wound. It also suggested that the FISA application cited a Yahoo! The story of Michael Isikoff for whom Steele was a source as confirmation of Steele’s work. Not so, according to Democrats: “In fact, the DOJ referenced Isikoff’s article … not to provide separate confirmation for Steele’s reporting, but from Page’s public rebuttal from his questionable meetings in Moscow. To inform about. “
And while the GOP memo described Steele’s reporting as “necessary” for the FISA application, the Democratic response noted that Steele’s reporting on a single “application … page” and his accompanying Russian officials Mentions alleged coordination. The information about Steele Page was consistent with the FBI’s assessment of Russian intelligence efforts to recruit him and his connections to Russian individuals of interest. “
The overall view that the FISA warrant would be based solely or largely on the reporting of Steele always seemed unlikely given his volatile nature. We know, for example, from the endpoints of the Democratic Memo, that the June 2017 beautification application had at least 56 pages.
The Democrats’ memo does not fail to address one aspect of the original Nunes memo, that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told the committee that no warrant would be sought without the Steele dossier. It’s a curious omission very Report Immediately after Nunes’ memo Dismissed Claim.
Perhaps it is addressed in one of the passages shorted by the Democrats’ memo. Reduce can be tantalizing, frustrating and awkward at times. One section, for example, has not reproduced these bits: “The DOJ also documented the evidence on that page [redacted]Is expected [redacted] And frequently contacted [redacted] In an attempt to represent himself [redacted]. For page efforts [redacted] He also opposes his oath testimony to our committee. “One of the redemptions has been broken for not deleting endorsement number 15, while endnote number 14 has been specifically redacted in the previous paragraph. (Endnote itself, 14,) is largely unrecoverable. Go find Apply.)
A footnote provides what may be an interesting clue about the progress of the FBI investigation in 2016. As of mid-September 2016, the memo stated, “The FBI had already opened sub-inquiries [redacted] Person associated with Trump campaign: [redacted] And former campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page. As the committee testifies, the FBI continues its investigation, including against [redacted] Individuals, even if it had never received information from Steele, never applied for a FISA warrant against Page, or if the FISC had rejected the application. “
Okay that tells us that the FBI was investigating other campaign officials in mid-September, but that is not their name. However, there is an endnote, which states that: “Under the direction of the special counsel, Flynn and Papadopoulos have both convicted federal investigators of lying and are cooperating in the special counsel’s investigation, while Manafort and his longtime Aide from, former Trump deputy campaign manager Rick Gates, has been involved in a number of cases and is awaiting trial. “Papadopoulos, George Papadopoulos, is a consultant whose An Australian diplomat got the role of an investigation into bar-room blobbing; He is mentioned several times elsewhere in the memorandum. But neither Manafort nor Flynn are mentioned elsewhere in the undeclared parts of the document; Especially given that, unlike Gates, he has been mentioned before (since only his last names are used), it is reasonable to infer that he is the other Trump adviser whose names are in the main body of the document Are blacked out.
if That’s right, it would mean that the FBI opened a “sub-investigation” into Flynn’s dealings with Russia in early September 2016, when he was “locked up!” Mantra on the campaign trail. It would also mean that the FBI was investigating Many Trump Advisers Stretch home the campaign and it never leaked. Keep in mind that the next time some Trumpites complain that the FBI was working to prevent them from being elected.
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But this is not surprising. We already know from the Nunes memo that both the document and its sponsors were intellectually dishonest and duplicitous. The whole thing was an exercise in partisan massage and prodding – cheap red meat meant to keep the Trump base faked and angry.
The same mentality was demonstrated on Saturday afternoon at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where Nunes was given the “Defender of Freedom” award (he recalled “Trump”). The memo was released because he was on stage and gave his insta-spin, accusing Democrats of “phishing” with “parts of the government” to cover up the FISA malfunction. “And I think as soon as you read it,” He said about the Schiff memo, “You will see personal attacks on yourself, personal attacks on the Chairman’s dock …”
Typically, Nunes was just making stuff up until he considered the fact that he had not read his own memo as a “personal attack”. Giani noted, reportedly gave “guidance and input” for the drafting of the Nunes memo. Some personal attacks; But Nunes felt that it could make the stuff because the CPAC crowd was not going out to read the Schiff memo.
Or who knows, maybe the personal attacks were top secret and had to be implemented again.