The Most Interesting Part of the Schiff Memo Is What Trump Didn’t Let You See.
Over the weekend the heavily redacted “Schiff Memo,” the Democratic rebuttal to the Nunes Memo, was released. As I discussed before, the Schiff Memo details numerous justifications for the FISA warrants on Carter Page unrelated to the Steele Dossier.
The Schiff Memo also confirmed that the Nunes Memo is a fraud. Schiff made clear that the FISA warrant applications for Carter Page notified the judge of Steele’s potential bias. The Schiff Memo quotes the warrant applications as stating that the person hiring Steele was “likely looking for information that could be used to discredit” Trump.
The Schiff Memo also points out that the FBI’s investigation of Carter Page started before the FBI received the Steele Memo and that the FISA warrant was not requested until two months after Page stopped working for the Trump Campaign.
However, the most tantalizing part of the Schiff Memo is what has been redacted from it. The DOJ received multiple extensions to the FISA warrants on Carter Page and when doing so had the burden of proving they were getting valuable information from the earlier warrants.
The Schiff Memo states that in subsequent FISA warrant extensions the DOJ provided the judge “multiple independent sources that corroborated Steele’s reporting.” The Schiff Memo then lists three bullet points, presumably giving specific examples of what in Steele’s reporting was corroborated, and how. The first two of those three points are completely redacted, the third is so redacted as to be unintelligible. Take a look for yourself.
To help you out, that third point reads: “Page’s [long redaction] in Moscow [short redaction] senior Russian officials [more than an entire line redacted] as well as meeting with Russian officials [remainder redacted].” The next line informs that this information contradicts Page’s testimony to Congress where he denied such meetings. That third bullet point is supported by Footnote 13, which is also completely redacted.
We don’t know what the first two bullet points said at all. About all we can conclude from the third is that it is generally about some secret meetings Carter Page had with Russians. What we do know is that President Trump does not want us to know anything about those meetings or what might have been in the other two bullet points. We know these redactions were added at Trump’s insistence. On February 9th Trump rejected release of the unredacted version of the Schiff Memo even though the House Intelligence Committee (Republicans included) voted unanimously to release it in original form. Trump was pretty desperate that we not see some things that even the Republicans on the Committee did not feel held any classified information.
We also know this rebuts Trump’s repeated claims that the Steele Dossier has been completely discredited. In fact, it’s clear multiple elements of the Steele Dossier were corroborated independently, we just don’t know which elements.
In another display of alt-fact reality bending Trump promptly tweeted that Schiff’s Memo proves he was right all along. Really.
Sadly, this may actually be true for the personality cult of gullibles who will hang on to Trump’s every word, mindlessly accepting whatever he says as true, without checking any facts out for themselves.
For more on Mueller’s investigation check out my “Russia Gate Timeline” or my “Running Tab of Mueller Investigation Convictions and Indictments.”