The Nunes Memo Is A Fraud.
The Nunes memo is a fraud, nothing but a hoax perpetuated on the American people. A lie contrived to provide cover and distraction against an investigation getting too close to the Republican President.
The core allegation of the Nunes Memo is that the application for the FISA warrant against Carter Page did not disclose to the court that one of the sources relied upon, former British Intelligence Officer Christopher Steele, did his research indirectly funded by the Democratic Party (the Democratic party paid a company to do the research, and that company contracted with Steele). The Nunes Memo said:
“Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior and FBI officials.”
Simply put, that statement is a lie. As I previously discussed, it was always contested with widespread reporting that the FISA application notified the court that Steele’s research was sponsored by a political entity. Now Republicans, including Nunes himself, are admitting this is true. You can see Nunes dance around, while effectively conceding the point, in the face of laughably friendly questioning on Fox & Friends.
Fox & Friends tries to minimize the notice to the court by stating it was in a “footnote at the bottom of the page” (that’s where footnotes go). However, notice in a footnote is notice. The Nunes Memo did not claim the court was notified via footnote, it claimed the court was not notified at all. Does anyone seriously think the judge would try to argue that he was not notified because it was in a footnote?
Nunes response to the Fox & Friends question is equally dishonest. He responded to the question as follows:
“A footnote saying something may be political is a far cry from letting the American people know that the Democrats and the Hillary campaign paid for dirt that the FBI then used to get a warrant on an American citizen to spy on another campaign.”
First, this was never supposed to be about “letting the American people know.” A FISA warrant application is a classified presentation to a judge. It’s never supposed to advise the American people of anything. Only Nunes’ own treatment of this as a political football has released this classified information to the American people. The question is whether the warrant application advised the judge of Steele’s potential bias. It clearly did.
Second, Nunes defense seems to now be that the memo did not directly say “Democratic Party.” That’s a change from his Memo which which said there was no reference to “any party/campaign.” However, the FISA application identified Steele as sponsored by a political entity, and the information was negative to Trump. Any argument that the judge did not see where that led is just ridiculous.
Third, the “spy on another campaign” part is a lie. It ignores that Carter Page had left the Trump campaign in August 2016, two months before FISA warrant application in October.
As I discussed previously, there was a wealth of information supporting a probable cause affidavit against Carter Page. In addition, as a matter of law, the FISA warrant application did not have to inform the court of Steele’s political sponsorship. The point is the warrant application did advise the court of this. Nunes, and all the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, lied to the American people in claiming it did not. For the record, those lying Republicans are:
- Devin Nunes, California, Chair
- Mike Conaway, Texas
- Peter King, New York
- Frank LoBiondo, New Jersey
- Rick Crawford, Arkansas
- Trey Gowdy, South Carolina
- Tom Rooney, Florida
- Will Hurd, Texas
- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida
- Mike Turner, Ohio
- Brad Wenstrup, Ohio
- Chris Stewart, Utah
- Elise Stefanik, New York
The revelation of the fraudulent nature of the Nunes Memo also completely validates the FBI’s claim prior to its release that it had “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”
Americans need to strongly question why this hoax was foisted on them. The President himself relied on this hoax to declare it totally “vindicates” him.
Trump and others have also used Nunes Memo hoax to advance a goofy “Deep State” conspiracy theory acting against the Administration.
This hoax is serious stuff. It is part of a sustained effort to smear the institutions lawfully investigating the President of the United States. The American people should be outraged.