By Devin Dubon
The long awaited Nunes memo was finally released on February 2 to a mix of praise and criticism. The memo was expected to be a bombshell exposure of corruption and bias within the FBI, but the reality was much less dramatic.
Devin Nunes, the author of the memo and head of the House Intelligence Committee, began his secret investigation in April 2017. His memo focuses on the FBI’s warrant to investigate a Trump campaign official: Carter Page. The memo states that the evidence used to obtain this warrant was almost solely of the Steele dossier, a report compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele who investigated possible Trump-Russia ties.
The memo then explains that this dossier was partially funded by the Democratic National Convention as opposition research—a fact that the House Intelligence Committee was supposedly not made aware of.
Many Democrats and Republicans alike were underwhelmed at the fact that this is the only information the memo contained—the memo was four pages in its entirety—as expectations for the memo were sky high with #ReleaseTheMemo trending on Twitter, and the decision on whether to declassify the memo was greatly scrutinized.
In fact, the FBI made a rare appeal for the president to not declassify the memo due to them having concerns about the veracity of its contents.
Before the memo was released, the Democrats compiled their own memo as a rebuttal but the House voted not to release it at the same time as the Nunes memo.
However, some details of the memo seem contradictory in and of themselves, and reports have surfaced contradicting others.
For example, the memo makes it seem that the entire Mueller investigation hinged on the Steele dossier, but later states that it was instead started by the investigation into George Papadopoulos. Also, the memo doesn’t disclose the fact that surveillance on Page did not start until well after he was fired from the Trump campaign, and that he had been on the FBI’s radar since well before. Additionally, the most controversial allegation—that the FBI did not disclose the political origins of the dossier—was completely refuted by Nunes’s Democratic counterpart in the Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff.
Despite the many irregularities, many conservatives continue to claim that the memo completely discredits the entire Mueller investigation, and some even call for those charged, such as Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, be pardoned. These voices include President Trump.
“This memo totally vindicates ‘Trump’ in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their [sic] was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!” Trump tweeted in the aftermath of the release.
Many Republicans publicly stated that they do not believe the memo has any effect on Mueller’s investigation, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Trey Gowdy, the man that led the investigation into Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s role in it.
On February 6, the House Intelligence Committee voted to release the Democratic memo that is meant to counter many claims in the Nunes memo, but the possibility for Trump to veto its declassification remains open.
Source:: The Harbinger