Schiff Memo Demolishes Nunes Memo!
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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Recall our previous post on “Nunes Memo Is A Dud-Is Nunes Obstructing Justice?“? After three weeks, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, finally the House Democrats released their rebuttal to the Nunes Memo, also known as the10-page Schiff Memo (written by Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA). The Schiff Memo argues that Nunes Memo is full of “distortion and misrepresentations” that do not stand up to scrutiny based on classified evidence.
Schiff quotes key FBI documents that explicitly contradicts the Nunes Memo in multiple places. “This is a pretty thorough demolition,” an expert on surveillance at the Libertarian Cato Institute, Julian Sanchez, tweeted after having read Schiff’s Memo. Any reasonable, rational and logical observer would conclude, after having read both memos, that Nunes is either terribly misinformed, did not read the complete document, or intentionally trying to mislead.
The core allegation of Nunes Memo is: FBI and DOJ (Department of Justice) misled at least one federal judge on a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court during the Trump-Russia investigation. The FBI requested a FISA warrant in an application to spy on former campaign aide Carter Page in October of 2016, to check Page out as part of the overall investigation into the Trump’s ties to Russia due to Page’s connections to the Kremlin. Nunes argued that Steele dossier, the document containing allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, was partially funded by Democrats and that the FBI purposely neglected to tell the court about that source of funding. Nunes alleged that the FBI used the opposition research by a Democratic operative to go after the Trump campaign without disclosing the conflict of interest to the court. It was described as “a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process”. But this was totally incorrect!
If Nunes had more time or was more careful or was more truthful in reviewing all documents, he would have seen a passage from the actual application the FBI sent to the FISA court asking for permission to spy on Page: the application explicitly noted that “the FBI speculates” that Steel had been hired to find “information that could be used to discredit Trump’s campaign.” The FBI clearly stated in the FISA application that they believed Steele was hired to find dirt on Trump. So, Nunes’ entire argument falls apart. After the release of the Schiff memo on Saturday, House Republican released a document rebutting its core claims and stated that the vital line in which the FBI discloses the information about Steele was “buried in a footnote“. Regardless, the FBI did tell the judge that some of the information it was using to justify the FISA warrant request came from a partisan source. The judges who approved the initial FISA warrant on Carter Page and three renewals subsequent to that were all Republican-appointed judges.
The important issue was that Page had been under FBI’s radar for quite some time since he was approached by Russian spies in the past and he traveled to Moscow to give a commencement speech at a Russian University, definitely a red flag. The Steele dossier was used as supporting document to further establish that Page’s trip to Russia was sketchy because Steele’s sources indicated that Page met with two Russians close to Putin during this trip. Furthermore, there were other multiple independent sources that corroborated Steele’s reporting. But Schiff argued that the Steele dossier was not the primary source but was only narrowly used as a supporting document in one FISA application, contrary to Republican Nunes memo’s claiming that Steele dossier was the primary source that launched the entire Russian investigation.
Allow me to summarize: any reasonable, rational and logical observer would conclude, after having read both memos (Nunes Memo and Schiff Memo), that Nunes is either terribly misinformed, did not read the complete document, or intentionally trying to mislead.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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