Apparently Congressman Nunes, or folks working for/with him on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, have produced a four page memo alleging significant abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the Obama Administration, specifically the Department of Justice and the FBI, against Republicans. The memo is supposedly classified. This has led to the creation of a release the memo hashtag (click at your own risk of sanity). This would seem to explain Sean Hannity’s opening tease on Fox News tonight:
Hannity announces Mueller probe is over in message to Mueller. pic.twitter.com/sb1mLhElSi
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) January 19, 2018
Two of Florida’s GOP Congressmen, DeSantis and Gaetz, are having a public bout of high dudgeon on twitter over it:
While the report is classified as Top Secret, I believe the select committee should, pursuant to House rules, vote to make the report publicly available as soon as possible. This is a matter of national significance and the American people deserve the truth.
— Ron DeSantis (@RepDeSantis) January 18, 2018
You guys he’s trying to get it all out to us. pic.twitter.com/0Aawtl3QYI
— American Lady 🐞 (@xgold1x) January 18, 2018
The House must immediately make public the memo prepared by the Intelligence Committee regarding the FBI and the Department of Justice…There is no higher priority than the release of this information to preserve our democracy.https://t.co/CgC0qEqlSp
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 18, 2018
As is New York GOP Congressman Lee Zeldin:
Releasing this classified info doesn't compromise good sources & methods. It reveals the feds' reliance on bad sources & methods.
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) January 18, 2018
It is hard to get decent info at this point, but if I’m following all this correctly the memo being referred to is the result of Congressman Nunes’ monomania regarding lawful unmasking by the Obama Administration in 2015 and 2016 and the attempt to create a controversy and scandal over FISA violations as reported by the chronically wrong and easily duped John Solomon at The Hill, as well as his equally odious, one sided, and misleading reporting on the text messages between two FBI officials during the campaign.
Wikileaks has, of course, gotten in on the action and is offering a bounty.
All of this is an attempt to further dirty up the FBI and by extension Special Counselor Mueller. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released the transcripts of their interviews with FUSION GPS head Glenn Simpson. Which, as was the case with the one released by Senator Feinstein, basically knocks down and rebuts all of the GOP talking points about what is going on with the Mueller investigation. The 8 November 2017 transcript is here.
And the 14 November 2017 transcript is here.
Since these basically shoot everything Congressman Nunes, Congressman Gaetz, Congressman DeSantis, Congressman Jordan, and several other GOP members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Oversight, Justice, or other committees have been saying about the Special Counsel and his investigation and the FBI’s role in the counterintelligence investigation pertaining to the President that was begun in July 2016, they needed to do something to change the narrative. Enter the four page classified memo supposedly alleging that the Obama Administration, the DOJ, the FBI, and other parts of the US Intel Community were all conspiring against Republicans and conservatives in general and the President, his businesses, and his campaign in specific. Leaked to Fox News and teed up for Sean Hannity’s diatribe for an audience of one this evening. Given what happened the last time that Congressman Nunes tried to get creative in screening fire for the President, I fully expect that if this memo is ever declassified it won’t survive first contact with the actual subject matter experts the news media brings in to consult on it. Except, of course, for Fox News, talk radio, the alt-right news media (Breitbart, Gateway Pundit, etc) and social media crowd, Wikileaks, RT, and Sputnik. They’ll all, amazingly, have the exact same talking points. As will the White House, the President on twitter, and the aforementioned GOP members of Congress. This amount of coincidence takes a lot of work!
“The unmasking thing was all created by Devin Nunes,” Burr said, “and I’ll wait to go through our full evaluation to see if there was anything improper that happened. But clearly there were individuals unmasked. Some of that became public which it’s not supposed to, and our business is to understand that, and explain it.”
I expect a similar conclusion to be reached about his new four page memo if it ever sees the light of day. But it will consume a lot of news media oxygen that could be better spent focused on other things. Like the Congressional GOP’s appropriations woes, the lack of progress on relief for those previously covered by the DACA executive order, the use of CHIP as a hostage, and, of course, Stormy Daniels spanking the President with Forbes magazine.
ETA at 12:55 AM EST
What I’ve delineated above is my best estimate at this time because the Fox News write up was big on hyperbolic comments from GOP members of the House and light on actual factual information. Clicking through to the hashtag just led me to all sorts of incoherent crazy. And I’m NOT watching Hannity!
Stay frosty or warm.