The House Intelligence Committee has unanimously voted to release the Democrats’ “nuh uh” memo in response to last week’s released Nunes’s memo.  Nunes will release another memo after that and he and Schiff will continue this exciting game of Classified Intel Connect Four over the next year.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though.

The panel’s action sets up a clash with Trump, who has five days to review the request to release the document.

Democrats had pushed to have it published after Republicans voted along party lines to declassify their own memo over objections by the FBI and Justice Department.

Trump had strongly backed the release of the Republican memo last week. Should Trump refuse to declassify the Democratic version, a standoff between the White House and Democrats could follow.

Republicans “found themselves in an insupportable position when they released a misleading memo and refused to release the Democratic response, so I think they were compelled to take the action they did today,” Schiff said.

I’m not really in the prediction business, as I’m not privy to any insider knowledge or especially smart.  But I’m going to do it this time because I think I know what’s going on here and what I do if I were in Schiff’s position.

The GOP memo was 4 pages.  The Democrat version will be 10 pages.  There’s obviously a lot more in it, and Schiff actually did read the FISA application.  As a reminder, only one Congressman from each party could review the application and Nunes (being that he’s not a lawyer) had Gowdy review it on his behalf.  Schiff is a former US Attorney so he was perfectly qualified to review it himself.  I don’t hold this against Nunes, but I’m sure Schiff will make a big deal out of it, because he’s a devious bastard.

I’m a devious bastard too, so if I were Schiff, I would load up my memo with as much classified intelligence as possible.  I’d put stuff in there from when Carter Page was under investigation from years before the election, detailing the surveillance methods used, identify sources, and everything.  I’d get the most red-hot intelligence I had from the FISA applications and anything else and fill up whole pages of my memo with it.

Once the memo gets to the FBI, they’re naturally going to protest and insist that all of this be redacted.  Here’s the ingenious part.  If Trump listens to the FBI and accepts their redactions, then Schiff will accuse him of obstructing.  After all, Schiff will say, Trump was willing to release the GOP memo even though the FBI protested.  It doesn’t really matter that the GOP memo didn’t have anything in it whatsoever that could endanger national security, the media said it did and so Schiff could put whatever he wanted into his memo and point to a single black box as proof that Trump is selectively releasing information for his own purposes.

If the FBI protests (and I think they will) and Trump releases the memo unredacted anyway, it will mean that he’s endangering national security and compromising Mueller’s investigation.  Either way, the condition in which the memo is released is going to be used to damage Trump.  It’s brilliant, honestly.

Trump can either release a memo with several pages blacked out or reject the whole thing, meaning that he’s “hiding something”, as Schiff will claim, or he can release an uncut memo that makes him look bad, either because he ignored the FBI again or the information seems damaging or both.  Schiff would appear to win either way.

Well then, what’s Trump going to do?  I can’t predict it.  I never know what he’s going to do because he never does anything I would do.

If I had to guess, I’d say that he’ll probably redact the shit out of the memo and then release it.  He might even redact more than the FBI asks for.  Reason being that Trump doesn’t seem to much care about playing fair.  It’s totally immaterial to him that the GOP memo was fully unredacted.  He’s not going to get any approval from the Democrats by releasing what they want released, so why bother?

Instead, he can redact away and then I guess he could start demanding that the FISA applications on Carter Page be declassified, knowing full well that it isn’t going to go anywhere.  He could go for a “I’m all for transparency, so I call on the FBI and DOJ to make this intelligence declassified” high road.  Will it work?  Probably.  It’s the better choice, from my point of view.

But again, I don’t claim to know what to expect from the President.  Whatever he chooses, I’m willing to bet that the Democrats and their media allies will already have their talking points ready according to which of the two possible scenarios they are clearly expecting to unfold.

UPDATE 2/14/18:

This is relevant and I don’t think we need another post on the topic. Everyone appreciates that, I’m sure.

Schiff won’t change the Democrat FISA Memo.

“We’re not going to make any revisions to it. The only question is what redactions will be made. And obviously we’d like to keep those to a minimum,” Schiff told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

“The White House has a different interest. I think their interest is in redacting anything that doesn’t reflect well on the White House,” the top Democrat on the House intel panel added.

My interpretation is that Schiff wants to challenge both Nunes and Grassley’s conclusions and still get to score one on Trump by having portions of the memo blacked-out.

For the Democrat Memo to mean anything beyond that and effectively counter what Nunes and Grassley put out, it has to show that the allegations in the Steele Dossier and Steele’s own credibility were not key to obtaining or extending the FISA warrant against Carter Page.

Problem is that Schiff hasn’t said that in any of his tweets, op-eds, or television appearances that I know of. His main arguments against the Nunes Memo are that it was partisan and reckless. I don’t have a problem with him calling it partisan, but it wasn’t reckless. He also claimed that it has “material omissions of fact”. I’m guessing he’s implying that there was much more evidence that Page was a foreign spy than the dossier that would have guaranteed approval of a FISA warrant, but he hasn’t really said so publicly.

It’s not certain that Trump will approve the release of even a redacted Democrat Memo. He could say that he’s going to wait until the underlying intelligence is declassified and I still say that’s his best option.

But if the Schiff memo comes out, the one thing I’m going to look for is a firm statement that the FISA warrant would have been obtained with or without Steele’s credibilty and dossier information. If that isn’t there, the Nunes Memo stands.

What Schiff can do that matters to Democrats is use the Democrat memo to justify the overall Russia investigation and ignore Nunes’s claim that the FISA process itself was abused. These two things are not mutually exclusive.

The DNC hacking and Wikileaks release doesn’t have anything to do with Page. Trump publicly asking Russia to release Hillary’s emails isn’t about Page. Manafort hasn’t been charged with anything that you can tie to Page. Not Papadapalous either. He did what he did independently. Flynn got indicted for mistatements as to what he said to the Russian ambassador, who was being lawfully monitored under circumstances unrelated to Page.

Schiff could take all of that and at least say, “Look, the Russia investigation is legitimate. We can’t let Rosenstein and Mueller get fired because of what Republicans are saying the FBI and DOJ did to Page.”

And he’d be right.

The Steele Dossier is one piece of the overall Russia investigation. A finding that the FBI and DOJ behaved unlawfully or at least unethically should not invalidate the rest. But it too needs to be investigated. It has to be taken seriously because if the FBI and DOJ are accused of applying sloppy and illicit methods to violate the rights of an American citizen, somebody has to be held accountable or the FBI and DOJ’s names need to be cleared. This is in the national interest.

So if you need the Schiff memo to protect and justify Mueller’s investigation, I’m good with it. Neither Nunes or Grassley were trying to get rid of Mueller with their memos anyway. You can say I’m wrong, but nothing in the memos accomplishes that, as I’ve been saying. Just understand that I don’t think Schiff has anything that contradicts what Nunes and Grassley have said.

newest oldest
Notify of
Judge Dredd, Pro Se

Oh, I think you know EXACTLY how trump will handle this. He’s going to throw a shit fit and veto this memo which is all Schiff ever wanted. Personally, as I’ve alluded to previously, I think the circumstances surrounding these warrants are so fucking milquetoast that all Nunes could do is work with Gowdy to edit the events to seem as if something unethical was happening. Trump, being the bullish dumbfuck that he is reported to be, is triggered by the mere mention of the Russia investigation, and eager to make a checker move on the chessboard to prove this… Read more »

CMNZ

Some interesting spitballing in this thread…
https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/960700267313401868

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

Cmnz that is an interesting thread. Most people doubt the validity of the contents of the Steele dossier in general, mostly because the allegations seem absurd. A part of me is in the “you can’t make this stuff up” camp, but I just can’t put any faith in such outlandish claims without seeing more to it. Maybe this dude is right; that the warrant was built on the corroboration of investigative results, but the skeptic in me thinks it could also be these guys found the same source independently. Either way, I don’t think the obtaining of the fisa warrant… Read more »

Zurvan

None of this is in dispute and you can’t make it vanish by waving your arms around and chanting “NUNES, GOWDY, MEKA LEKA HI MEKA HINEY HO!” Those are facts.

It’s also a fact that I would pay money to watch Dredd (or you) perform the above act.

Zurvan

The memo says it was crucial, according to McCabe.

Gowdy is also on record (in the interview I linked to in the other thread) saying the FISA warrant would never have been issued without the Steele Dossier.

CMNZ

Gowdy is also on record (in the interview I linked to in the other thread) saying the FISA warrant would never have been issued without the Steele Dossier. Obviously he’s entitled to that opinion, but it’s still just an opinion, and not a completely unbiased one by any stretch. Said the guy cheerleading the people who really are hiding something. Speaking of hiding things, the tax returns become more and more interesting as this thing goes along. How does a bankrupt guy get so much money, when the American banks etc won’t lend to him anymore? It might not be… Read more »

CMNZ

pwned

After the success of the viral #ReleaseTheMemo campaign, Russian-influenced Twitter accounts are test-running other hashtags designed to stoke anger, particularly among supporters of President Donald Trump, against “deep state” forces, according to analysts at Hamilton 68, a website that tracks Russian influenced Twitter accounts.

Last weekend, a host of new hashtags trended in the network of accounts monitored by Hamilton 68, including #fisagate, #obamadeepstate, #wethepeopledemandjustice, #thememorevealsthecoup and even #obamaslegacyisobamagate.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/06/russia-twitter-hashtags-deep-state-395928

CMNZ

Yep, that would certainly end a lot of speculation and answer a whole of questions. Or, more likely, start a whole new round of speculation and set up a whole lot of new questions. As for the money-laundering angle…..the main headline points (not the detail) are: 1. Russians kept/keep needing to clean money. 2. Trump desperately wanted to do business in Russia. 3. Trump needed money, couldn’t get it from US. By the mid-2000s, U.S. financial institutions had stopped lending to Trump for his building projects. Deutsche was the only one still willing to work with him. Around the same… Read more »

CMNZ

Here is a piece on the Steele smear-campaign by a career intelligence officer who worked on Russian espionage issues overseas, and in support of FBI counterintelligence investigations domestically. https://www.politico.eu/article/devin-nunes-donald-trump-the-smearing-of-christopher-steele/ “If he really believes that Steele’s personal views negate his reporting, it suggests Nunes failed to read Steele’s reports or worse, misunderstands the nature of intelligence collection. Steele’s “dossier” was not a summary or analytical product but was a series of raw intelligence reports. An intelligence officer does not report personal opinions or produce finished analysis but is seeking to accurately record what his sources and sub-sources report. The professional intelligence… Read more »

Zurvan

Did CM really just say

They look at it through a partisan lens and discount the substance.

After posting that pile of bullshit?

comment image

CMNZ

The tax return issue got no traction in 2016. Trump did enough to defuse it by promising to release them after the election. Plus, those who voted for him obviously didn’t give a shit either way (they just wanted their coal jobs back). Also, there was just so much going on, nothing got traction. He relied on lurching from one scandal/debacle to the next quickly enough so that nobody could dwell. But then you know all that. The tax returns/money laundering thing has clearly always been there, it just comes back into focus at certain times (e.g. when someone gives… Read more »

CMNZ

Did CM really just say

They look at it through a partisan lens and discount the substance.

After posting that pile of bullshit?

Nope, that was part of a quote. I added it in EDIT but it didn’t have the quote button and I forgot how the blockquote thing goes as I never do it manually. So I added speech marks as an alternative.

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

Hey, Thrill in those “fake news” links I didn’t notice you put any of about the last three weeks worth of Fox News “this is really it this time!” explosive headlines, or any of the great breitbart hits like this gem:

https://youtu.be/SkgWXIjBEIU

I’m sure you just ran out of space to be objective!

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

https://youtu.be/fhniP-mAChI

Whoops! Don’t forget the second part to the twin falls story. It’s a doozy!

CMNZ

Wow Thrill, you sure swing wildly from “true, we need to know x, y, and z” to “its a slam dunk, you fuckwit”.
The GOP have corroborated the……GOP? Ok then….. 😉

CMNZ

You, of course, are a Chris Steele fanboy so I shouldn’t be surprised that you tolerate lies from discredited people.

LOL, wow, that’s kinda…..left-field. Perhaps once you’ve stopped frothing at the mouth (or sobered up) consider for a moment that you might be projecting your intense hatred of Steele here. The guy is threatening to your boy, and some of his raw intelligence has apparently been separately corroborated.

CMNZ

Hey, the most important thing is that you keep throwing out irresponsible allegations

What, only your boy is allowed to?
I didn’t make any definitive claims about anything (unlike you). I said what it might be, but explicitly said it might not.

CMNZ

An agent of her campaign solicited intelligence on her opponent from Russian officials. Which agent? Walk me through it. You can’t mean Steele, as we don’t even know that he knew he was now doing it on behalf of the Clinton campaign (and there is sworn testimony from the guy he reported to which says he didn’t know). So I assume you mean someone else? Trump explicitly, on tv, asked for the Russia to steal and leak his opponents emails FFS. Thanks for confirming the Fake News thing. Zeke was in the Oval Office on Friday night as part of… Read more »

CMNZ

I didn’t think CM would get so triggered that he’d go for the legendary face-saving sextuple post. Good try, but I live in a substantially different timezone. Sure I could have waited until someone else posted but I couldn’t be bothered because it was like 3am or 5am in the morning where you are, and I was going to bed. And what exactly would I be ‘saving face’ about? You’d have to explain. you’ll understand why it’s over. Or you won’t. Or I’ll wait and see what happens, like I was always going to. Like we all have to. Nothing… Read more »

CMNZ

I find it entertaining that you posted some commentary, sat around for a couple of hours and then said, “Ah ha! Another link to throw in!” Then found another one 20 minutes later and rubbed your hands together exclaiming, “This is the link that will crush him!” Cool story bro. I have to ask. Are you paid by the comment, or the number of replies you get, or do you have some sort of arrangement worked out with the advertisers on the websites you link to? Or are you hourly? I’m not criticizing, it seems like fun work. I’m guessing… Read more »

Zurvan

I’m neither defending him or attacking him.

Classic CM.

brownbag
brownbag
brownbag
CMNZ

(remember that Comey had called it “salacious and unverified” That seems to have been specifically in relation to some potentially sensitive aspects. The memo has twisted his words. There’s Steele’s own personal motives What were his motives when he was collecting the actual intelligence (you know, the stuff that actually matters, the whole point…)? When do we know what his motives were? Also, he was collecting and passing on raw intelligence. It’s up to others to verify and corroborate. See my two ‘saving face’ links that you aren’t even remotely interested in. there’s the fact that the opposing presidential campaign… Read more »

CMNZ

Clearly some serious triggering going on now 😉

brownbag

I have to say it was enjoyable. BTW, this is blameme. Brownbag is part of my email and it autofilled that. Happened before on another thread. Anyway, don’t want Steel coming after me for false aliases.

CMNZ

Can’t be long until Steele is implicated in some kiddy porn ring, thus invalidating the very existence of the Democratic Party.

CMNZ

That just isn’t true. This assessment details the times when he used the phrase. Overall, it seems clear that he was referring to the parts that are salacious and unverified. Suggesting he was meaning the entire thing is a stretch when you consider the phrasing he used. Especially: in a remark to Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., when Comey referred to “unverified and salacious parts” of the dossier. Note Comey’s use of word “parts,” rather than the whole dossier. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/feb/05/devin-nunes/nunes-memo-twists-james-comeys-words-steele-dossie/ He was getting paid and he wanted Trump to lose. Neither of those facts are in doubt. Not sure how the… Read more »

%d bloggers like this: