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.

55 comments

  1. 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 is “a witch hunt.” Someone in the circle of trust tells him that he can release the memo and veto everything else. Voila!

    This is the peculiar problem of this dumbfuck, or “empty vessel” or whatever people use to describe him. He’s easily gamed and the Democrats have him cornered. This was nothing to begin with. Now, trump has made it a partisan applause line to his fanfare, and he’s sitting with a shit eating grin on his face because he thinks he can veto the opposition.

    The democrats are looking to the elections this year, and if they can create the feeling that trump is hiding something, not only is he so easily triggered he might do something incredibly stupid, there’s a chance they can get out the vote to some of these purple people sitting on the sidelines that beyond ideology trump is simply bad for business.

  2. 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 means anything to people who are simple minded dumbfucks, or have their egos wrapped up so much in their tribe that they just simply refuse to accept this investigation might bear fruit. You’d think the “above the belt” moral crowd would be the first to sound the alarm on trump’s through-the-shitter integrity due to easily disputed accounts of lies, despicable and disreputable behavior with whores and Hollywood tramps while his wife and young child are at home, and casual disregard for anerica’s laws and governing institutions. They do not, because most are simply politically and religiously amoral and hippocritucal and tacitly acknowledge religion and integrity only matter if they do not like who is in office.

    I also believe that there is another, inner partisan or racist streak here rearing it’s ugly head. I had a chuckle today reading the list of eagles that will not go to the White House because they still believe in criminal justice reform, and seeking justice for innocent black people (or generally innocent people) being murdered in cold blood by police during routine stops. You’d think trump would be like “hey! You’re being persecuted by a corrupt justice system and so am I!”

    That’s probably the most baffling part of this equation to me is how these trump worshipping empty shells can go from wanting black nfl players to be physically forced to standing for the anthem, to outright justification of cold blooded murder of blacks shot in the back while unarmed by the police, to hauling out junk science and colloquial racisms to justify selective enforcement all because cop worship is a tribal dogma of this political cult. However, if the cult leader decrees an institution a “deep state” conspiracy they’ll abandon all previous “heart felt beliefs” to tar and feather multitudes of hard working people to spare a pussy grabbing, draft dodging liar because he’s their article of faith.

    I’d love to hear the non-racist/partisan reason why the local police beating the fuck out innocent people and serving street justice with impunity is these people would have had nothing coming to them if they had nothing to hide, but trump is being tortured by a corrupt law institution that has been weaponized to beleagur poor, poor, sad picked on billionaires just trying to help the common hick spend his 1.50 a month paycheck tax free.

    Lmao! I just can’t hear this pitiful pearl routine anymore.

  3. 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.

    Something “unethical” was happening. That’s one aspect of the memo not even in dispute, but there are a lot of people trying very hard to overlook it.

    The Clinton campaign and the DNC tasked their law firm with hiring a company to conduct opposition research on Trump. That company hired a foreign former spy who they knew was considered a reliable source by the FBI.

    That ex-spy, who was a paid agent of one political party and its candidate for president, gathered intelligence and took it to the FBI. Some of it was false, some of it was unverified, and some of it was unverfiable but the FBI still used at least some of it to pursue a FISA warrant to surveil a campaign employee of the other party’s campaign organization.

    Meanwhile, the ex-spy, who was a paid agent of one political party and its candidate for president, leaked the information he had given to the FBI to the press. He was so public about it that the FBI had to pronounce him as an unreliable source. The company that hired him then spent over a year trying to conceal who had paid them to gather opposition research, which made him a paid agent of one political party and its candidate for president .

    So no, this isn’t “milquetoast” nor did anyone in Congress have to do anything to paint it as unethical. It was unethical in practice. If what Steele did hadn’t been unethical, the FBI wouldn’t have dumped him. According to Senators Grassley and Graham, it was even criminal.

    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.

    Where the House FISA memo can be challenged is on these points:

    1. As CM pointed out on the other thread, Steele may not have known that he was being paid by a proxy of the Clinton campaign and DNC, which also means that the FBI might not have known this.

    2. We don’t know how much the FBI relied on the Steele Dossier for the FISA warrants against Carter Page. The memo says it was crucial, according to McCabe. I’d expect the Democrat memo to challenge this point, but it was apparently recorded when McCabe said it and should eventually come out. The FBI was clearly using some of Steele’s work, otherwise they wouldn’t have discredited him for leaking to the media.

    3. We don’t know for sure if the FBI and DOJ continued using Steele’s Dossier as evidence to extend the FISA warrant against Page even after they pronounced him as discredited. Gowdy says they did. We also don’t know if they told the judge that they had burned the source for that material. The memo indicates that they did not.

    Political candidates aren’t allowed to produce flimsy and even false evidence by buying the services of a trusted FBI source who then use the FBI to gather more opposition research by violating the rights of an American citizen.

    If this is true, any of it, it’s not merely unethical or even illegal. It’s fucked up. Furthermore, anybody who is defending this or downplaying this is fucked up too.

    It’s becoming obvious that the Clinton campaign and DNC paid a foreign agent to acquire RUSSIAN intelligence that was damaging to Trump. That agent also planted FAKE NEWS to influence the election. He also OBSTRUCTED JUSTICE by leaking details of the investigation to the media.

    Supposedly, you Trump Derangement Aficionados care about THOSE THINGS, at least when you think Trump did them, so you say. Well, you have an emerging story that it was actually Christopher Steele doing it all in the name of getting Hillary elected and your only response to this attack on our political institutions and violations of the civil rights of an innocent man is to laugh at Congress for trying to tell the public how it happened and why?

    Fucked. Up.

    The democrats are looking to the elections this year, and if they can create the feeling that trump is hiding something…

    Said the guy cheerleading the people who really are hiding something.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    We really need to get a YouTube show going. The way I put things in writing just doesn’t do justice to how it looks in my mind.

  7. 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 money laundering but it sure ticks a hell a lot of the right boxes to be money laundering.

    Well, you have an emerging story that it was actually Christopher Steele doing it all in the name of getting Hillary elected

    Unless of course Steele didn’t know who the replacement client was. He was working for Fusion, and the CEO has given sworn testimony that Steele wasn’t aware. In which case your claim is wrong, and the claim about the FISA warrant being unethically or improperly obtained is also wrong (or at least severely undermined).

  8. 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

  9. It might not be money laundering but it sure ticks a hell a lot of the right boxes to be money laundering.

    Such as? I’m curious to know what you would see that the Obama IRS didn’t.

    Unless of course Steele didn’t know who the replacement client was.

    No, the memo also relates that Steele told Bruce Ohr that he was desperate to see Trump lose the election. He had all the motivation he needed.

    The only way to stop all of this is for Deep State to give up the FISA application and all underlying documents. #fisagate, #obamadeepstate, #wethepeopledemandjustice, #thememorevealsthecoup and even #obamaslegacyisobamagate

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go tweet out the above paragraph ten times.

  10. 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 time he received his new line of credit, the bank was laundering money, according to the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). Russian money. Billions of dollars that flowed from Moscow to London, then from London to New York—part of a scheme for which European and American regulators eventually punished the bank.

    http://www.newsweek.com/2017/12/29/donald-trump-russia-secret-deutsche-bank-753780.html

    The Russians whose money was being laundered have never been identified, but Deutsche’s New York office was a major beneficiary of the scheme—the very office that was making large loans to Trump. When Trump was elected, he was around $300 million (paywall) in debt to the bank.

    https://qz.com/1172800/trumps-money-laundering-allegations-by-michael-wolff-fusion-gps-and-adam-schiff/

    4. Trump refuses to release tax returns.
    5. Apparently there have been a lot of Trump real estate deals where you couldn’t really tell who was buying the property, and sometimes properties would be sold for a loss shortly after being bought (Simpson’s testimony).

    Simpson:

    We told Congress that from Manhattan to Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., and from Toronto to Panama, we found widespread evidence that Mr. Trump and his organization had worked with a wide array of dubious Russians in arrangements that often raised questions about money laundering.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/02/opinion/republicans-investigation-fusion-gps.html

    Bannon (in Fire & Fury, according to Wollf):

    You realise where this is going…This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr and Jared Kushner…It’s as plain as a hair on your face…It goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit. The Kushner shit is greasy. They’re going to go right through that. They’re going to roll those two guys up and say play me or trade me.

    Richard Dearlove (former head of Britain’s MI6 intelligence services):

    “‘What lingers for Trump may be what deals—on what terms—he did after the financial crisis of 2008 to borrow Russian money when others in the West apparently would not lend to him.”

    https://qz.com/1172800/trumps-money-laundering-allegations-by-michael-wolff-fusion-gps-and-adam-schiff/

  11. 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 officer’s personal opinions matter little.

    More importantly, I am not so certain that Steele’s comment reflects personal bias so much as informed opinion based on professional experience. By September 2016, Steele had already reported on a damning criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. His sources had shared with him information related to financial wrongdoing, compromising personal behavior and even espionage. Rather than assuming it is some sort of inherent bias or hatred for Trump, I see Steele’s comments as those of an intelligence officer who trusts his sources and believes the information that he has been gathering. If I collected information from trusted and knowledgeable sources that Trump was potentially involved in a criminal conspiracy with Vladimir Putin, I’d be “biased” too. The fact that Steele believed so much in his reporting that he felt passionate about passing it to the FBI can be as much an argument for the defense as for Nunes’ prosecution.

    However, the memo’s most serious weakness is the same as with all the other attacks on the Steele document — they pretend that the content doesn’t exist. Instead, they dwell on how the research was funded, and make no effort to refute the specific allegations. They look at it through a partisan lens and discount the substance.”

  12. It’s humorous. The tax return issue got no traction in 2016. By the end of 2017, the Russia issue was starting to backfire on Democrats.

    “I know! Let’s merge the two imaginary scandals!”

    The Anti-Trumpers have proven to be masters of projection, I keep noticing.

    They accuse Trump of colluding with Russia and it turns out that their candidate was colluding with Russia. They accuse Trump of abusing his power and we find out it was officials who were opposed to him who were abusing theirs. They call Trump a serial sexual abuser and it turns out they either were themselves or were covering for sexual abusers. They complain about fake news, the Democrat-allied mainstream media spouts it without reason and retracts without remorse.

    Really, when your talking points leaders are telling you to push the money laundering stuff, I have to wonder how soon we’ll be hearing about the Clinton Foundation again.

    I have to say that when Trump threatened to appoint a special prosecutor on Hillary at the 2nd debate, I didn’t really want him to. I was encouraged when he pointed to the Clinton’s after the election and said how much he respected them (even if I don’t share the sentiment or really believe him).

    These days? I see how psychotic the Left is and I’m looking forward to Trump burning the Democrats’ houses down. It’s coming too and any sympathy they might have otherwise gotten from Republicans isn’t going to be there because of these reckless accusations, incessant leaks, and unfiltered hatred Democrats have embraced over the past year.

    If this is the way it’s going to be, let’s do it.

  13. 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.

    Was the FBI smearing Steele when they burned him for leaking classified information to the media?

    More importantly, I am not so certain that Steele’s comment reflects personal bias so much as informed opinion based on professional experience.

    Disclosing classified information to the media is exactly what I would expect from a professional and experienced intelligence agent.

    His sources had shared with him information related to financial wrongdoing, compromising personal behavior and even espionage.

    Weren’t those RUSSIANS? I’m old enough to remember when getting information from Kremlin officials was considered to be a bad thing.

    I see Steele’s comments as those of an intelligence officer who trusts his sources and believes the information that he has been gathering.

    Trusted sources. Something which Steele isn’t on account of his misconduct.

    If I collected information from trusted and knowledgeable sources that Trump was potentially involved in a criminal conspiracy with Vladimir Putin, I’d be “biased” too.

    Bias is an incredibly bad quality in an intelligence agent. It can lead to mistakes, such as getting facts wrong and leaking classified information to the media.

    However, the memo’s most serious weakness is the same as with all the other attacks on the Steele document — they pretend that the content doesn’t exist.

    And yet enough of it was wrong or unverifiable, written by a biased investigator, that it had no business being used to justify FISA surveillance on an innocent American citizen.

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

    That’s exactly how the Nunes Memo is being treated by Democrats.

  14. Did CM really just say

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

    After posting that pile of bullshit?

  15. 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 testimony).

    By the end of 2017, the Russia issue was starting to backfire on Democrats.

    I know that’s your narrative but I’m not sure how accurate it is. The Dems just won a Missouri House district that Trump won 61-33. Also, a majority (53%) of Americans say President Trump has tried to derail or obstruct special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election interference.
    https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2517

    “I know! Let’s merge the two imaginary scandals!”

    There’s no ‘merging’ if he’s obstructed in order to avoid getting into trouble for illegal financial activities.

    They accuse Trump of colluding with Russia and it turns out that their candidate was colluding with Russia.

    How was Clinton colluding with Russia?

    They accuse Trump of abusing his power and we find out it was officials who were opposed to him who were abusing theirs.

    Which officials opposed to Trump abused their power?

    They call Trump a serial sexual abuser and it turns out they either were themselves or were covering for sexual abusers.

    Who exactly are you referring to?

    They complain about fake news, the Democrat-allied mainstream media spouts it without reason and retracts without remorse.

    Sounds like you’ve fallen for Trump’s appropriation of what fake news is, as opposed to what it really is.

    As I said, it might not be money laundering but it sure ticks a hell a lot of the right boxes to be money laundering. There are certainly grounds for suspicion. Being an ‘Anti-Trumper’ shouldn’t have anything to do with it.

  16. 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.

  17. Worth noting here that the Grassley/Graham criminal referral for Steele corroborates much of the GOP FISA Abuse Memo.

    https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2018-02-06%20CEG%20LG%20to%20DOJ%20FBI%20(Unclassified%20Steele%20Referral).pdf

    They unredacted more of it since this morning and it’s pretty crazy. Here’s where the Senate Judiciary Committee agrees with the House Intelligence Committee:

    1. Confirms that the FISA application didn’t identify that the Clinton campaign and DNC were ultimately behind the dossier (doesn’t verify that Steele knew this either)

    2. Notes that the FISA application was “heavily” dependent on the dossier.

    3. Confirms that the FISA application used a Yahoo news article, the source for which was Steele.

    4. Steele told Ohr that he was “desperate” to see Trump lose the election. It appears that this was stated in an interview with someone in the FBI or DOJ, if not Ohr himself. Ohr didn’t mention this to the FISC.

    5. The FBI continued to use the dossier as evidence, even after they determined that Steele was unreliable AND that he had lied to them about sharing the dossier with the press on multiple occasions.

    There’s more too. Really Holy Shit: The FBI reported that Steele got mad at Comey for reopening the Clinton email investigation in October 2016, so he leaked dossier information to another media source (I think that one was Mother Jones). It’s only then that the FBI finally disowned him…but kept using the dossier before the FISC.

    Just to note, Grassley did review the FISA application himself. Schiff’s memo is now challenging both the House GOP’s and the Senate GOP’s separate but corroborated accusations. You really think this is going to come up roses for the Democrats, DOJ, and the FBI when the FISA application comes out?

    But of course, these potential charges made in an official published document from the US Senate Judiciary Committee are just “smears” but the dossier, with its false and unverifiable information is Gospel.

    PLEASE keep defending Steele. We have officially reached the point at which it has become comedic.

  18. How was Clinton colluding with Russia?

    An agent of her campaign solicited intelligence on her opponent from Russian officials.

    Which officials opposed to Trump abused their power?

    Rhodes, Rice, Comey, McCabe, Ohr, for starters. I’d add to that whoever feloniously leaked Flynn’s name to the press after he was unmasked.

    Who exactly are you referring to?

    Hillary herself, who covered for one of her campaign officials after he sexually harassed a woman. Not to mention all of the other Democratic politicians, celebrities, and journalists who have been swept up by #MeToo.

    Sounds like you’ve fallen for Trump’s appropriation of what fake news is, as opposed to what it really is.

    This is fake news:

    http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/26/media/cnn-announcement-retracted-article/index.html

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/08/politics/email-effort-give-trump-campaign-wikileaks-documents/index.html?sr=twCNNp120817email-effort-give-trump-campaign-wikileaks-documents0801AMVODtop&CNNPolitics=Tw

    https://variety.com/2017/digital/news/vice-retracts-donald-trump-animatronic-disney-world-1202481218/

    http://time.com/4642088/trump-inauguration-obamacare-repeal-order/ (fake report that Trump removed a bust of MLK from the White House)

    http://www.tmz.com/2017/02/02/black-african-american-history-month-donald-trump-presidents/

    This really is a lake with no bottom. The media lies incessantly about Trump when it comes to Russia, race, and anything else they think will help them. Trying to influence public opinion through falsehoods is exactly what Fake News is intended to do.

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

    As I said, it might not be money laundering but it sure ticks a hell a lot of the right boxes to be money laundering.

    Hey, the most important thing is that you keep throwing out irresponsible allegations on flimsy evidence like Steele and your heroes in the American media do. Don’t let the lack of truth or results discourage you.

  19. 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!

  20. 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….. 😉

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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 the press pool on hand to document one of President Trump’s first official acts. He wrote a brief report, naming the aides who were there and noting that a bust of Winston Churchill was present in a new spot. Asked by other reporters about the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr., Zeke said he had looked for it and not seen it. As a result, a pool report by another reporter sent out at 7:31 p.m., based partly on Zeke’s observations, included this: “More decorating details: Apart from the return of the Churchill bust, the MLK bust was no longer on display.”

    “I should not have allowed unconfirmed information to end up in a pool report,” Zeke says. Within minutes, when inquiries began to come in about the missing bust, Zeke reviewed videos and wire photos, and tried to find a member of the White House staff who could answer whether the bust had been moved. He found an aide who went into the office to check and texted Zeke at 8:10 p.m. that the bust was there.

    Two minutes later Zeke emailed a correction to a large list of White House reporters. “The MLK bust remains in the Oval Office in addition to the Churchill bust per a WH aide. It was apparently obscured by a door and an agent earlier. My sincerest apologies.” He tweeted a correction as well. A TIME story that included the error was corrected, and for the next several hours, Zeke worked to alert colleagues of the mistake. He sent out several emails to reporters and eight tweets, including, at 8:41 p.m.“Tweeting again: wh aide confirms the MLK bust is still there. I looked for it in the oval 2x & didn’t see it. My apologies to my colleagues.” At 8:46 p.m., Press Secretary Sean Spicer retweeted that message with the words “Apology accepted.” To that, Zeke replied: “This is on me, not my colleagues. I’ve been doing everything I can to fix my error. My apologies.”

    “I did all I could to correct the record,” Zeke says, “and I apologize to my colleagues, the president and anyone misinformed by my mistake.”

    http://time.com/4645541/donald-trump-white-house-oval-office/

    Seems clear that the bust thing, and the Trump Jnr email thing (which they got from two sources) were corrected as soon as possible (see video at that cnn link about the email one).

    Misreporting (and then correcting as a soon as possible) isn’t Fake News. That pretty normal, happens all the time. Fake News is knowingly reporting something you know to be false (and certainly doesn’t involve making a correction). But you’ve bought into Trump’s perversion anyway, clearly (and weirdly, you seem like a bright guy).

  24. JDPS:

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

    Not much space for anything now. I didn’t think CM would get so triggered that he’d go for the legendary face-saving sextuple post. It’s a rare phenomena, not often seen, like a full eclipse or a congressman offering to send staffers to an embassy to retrieve nude photos of the president.

    CM:

    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…..

    Honestly, you should have stopped here instead of wasting your time with the five other comments that aren’t worth bothering with; because after I say this, you’ll understand why it’s over. Or you won’t.

    Doesn’t matter to me. Like a cat still tossing around the dead mouse it killed hours ago, I’m good with keeping the game on. Anyway, here’s why you’re wrong.

    First, Grassley and Graham aren’t going to stick their necks out for Trump by engaging in conjecture. Nunes has been criticized for his closeness to Trump and perceived partisanship, but that’s not going to stick to either of these Senators. They don’t like Trump any more than you do.

    Additionally, Grassley has reviewed the FISA application. So that’s another criticism of Nunes that the Deep State Pep Squad has been making which has now been nullified.

    Second, the Senate rules for declassifying information are different from the House’s. They can’t just vote to declassify what they have and then send it to the President for a yes or no. It has to be approved by the executive agency that owns the information.

    You know who approved for release but redacted the first version of the Grassley Memo? FBI Director Wray. And who unredacted it with all of the information that supports the Nunes Memo? FBI Director Wray again. Yep. Wray certainly would not have unredacted information that reflects badly on the FBI if it were untrue. I’m not even sure he can.

    There you go, CM. The FISA application is going to get released and it’s going to support what Grassley and Gowdy have been saying all week. That is, the FBI and DOJ were given intelligence by a paid agent of one political party and its candidate for president . They lied by ommission on the FISA application to place a campaign worker for the other presidential campaign under the heaviest possible surveillance.

    The FBI and DOJ continued using Steele’s dossier as a source even after he repeatedly lied to them. FISA abuse occurred here, exactly as the Nunes memo charged. All we have to do from here is understand why they did this and figure out what needs to be done to keep it from happening again.

    You can keep arguing it if you want, but you’re not arguing with me anymore. You’re arguing with FBI Director Wray, who released this information.

    If you want to keep arguing, please try not to go on another rampage. Like, sit there, compose your thoughts, check and see what Vox wants you to say, put your arguments together and then–only then–hit the Post Comment button. What you did up there makes you look desperate. Oh, and if you’re going to drop links, either quote the relevant part or tell me what I’m supposed to be looking at. I’m not even bothering with your last two links.

    Back to the topic at hand.

    Schiff’s memo (which has already been voted on so there’s no time for him to make any changes) will now have to stand against the word of Nunes, Grassley, Graham, Gowdy, and FBI Director Wray. I don’t know, but I’d guess he’s mostly critical of Nunes and didn’t anticipate that Grassley would agree with Nunes/Gowdy or that Wray would sink his battleship by unredacting the Senate Judiciary Committee’s findings in the referral.

    I’m really curious to see it now because if the Schiff Memo is going to contradict information that Wray was comfortable releasing because it was accurate, it should be hilarious.

    Are you done defending Steele or not? I’ll let you off the hook if you are. I’ve done my victory lap already.

  25. 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 is ‘over’. What a weird thing to say.

    The FBI and DOJ continued using Steele’s dossier as a source even after he repeatedly lied to them. FISA abuse occurred here, exactly as the Nunes memo charged. All we have to do from here is understand why they did this and figure out what needs to be done to keep it from happening again.

    No, as you (sometimes) point out, we first need to see what the FISA application actually said. Not rely on partisans to give us their account.

    They lied by ommission on the FISA application to place a campaign worker for the other presidential campaign under the heaviest possible surveillance.

    Again we’d need to see the application.

    Are you done defending Steele or not?

    Another weird thing to say. It’s not about ‘defending Steele’ here. We’re all speculating about what happened and what it means. To you it’s ALL about process, the actual content and the ramifications of it all (beyond process) are seemingly irrelevant. Because Trump is your boy and anyone who stands in his way is just evil.
    But sure, I won’t bother any more. You’re all over the place, sometimes claiming some sort of victory (I’m not even sure how it would be victory, I’d hate to see what defeat is) while occasionally admitting that until everything is revealed we really don’t know.

  26. 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!”

    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 you made about $3.50 for your work on this post alone.

    Anyway, since you want to keep getting up and coming at me again for some reason, I’ll go along.

    Or I’ll wait and see what happens, like I was always going to. Like we all have to. Nothing is ‘over’.

    True, it’s not. We have a plethora of document releases and new reports to look forward to, El Guapo.

    What should be over is how some of you have been lying about the Nunes FISA Abuse Memo. You’ve mischaracterized it as a politically-driven stunt, a smear on Christopher Steele, a disappointment, a nothingburger, and suggested that the content wasn’t true.

    Wray unredacting those portions of the Steele criminal referral memo destroys that argument. You now have to take the Nunes memo seriously and treat its contents as credible.

    I’m right. The only reason I’ve been a dick about it is because you’ve been dishonest. I can respectfully argue with anyone, but when people come into a discussion and start saying things that aren’t true or refusing to acknowledge things that are true or trying to weasel out of their own statements I think am entitled to do some futterwacken when their arguments collapse under the weight of their own bullshit.

    You’re still doing it. You won’t even answer whether or not you are still defending Steele. You posted above a statement that Steele is the victim of a “smear campaign”. I want to know if you still think that’s true even after the extent of his lying to the FBI and and pronouncement of unreliability–as exposed by Director Wray–has been fully brought to your attention.

    Is this all a smear campaign against Steele? Is Director Wray a partisan who’s in on it? Was Comey in on it when the FBI under his watch cut ties with Steele?

  27. 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 you made about $3.50 for your work on this post alone.

    Random much? Is this designed be a distraction?

    Anyway, since you want to keep getting up and coming at me….

    Like Porter’s wives? 😉
    I can do random too. It’s fun!

    True, it’s not.

    Except it is, except it’s not, except it is…..rinse and repeat, apparently.

    I’m right. The only reason I’ve been a dick about it is because you’ve been dishonest. I can respectfully argue with anyone, but when people come into a discussion and start saying things that aren’t true or refusing to acknowledge things that are true or trying to weasel out of their own statements I think am entitled to do some futterwacken when their arguments collapse under the weight of their own bullshit.

    I’ve not knowingly claimed something I know to be untrue. You’re the one frothing at the mouth, claiming the froth is coming from me. I’m perfectly calm and happy watching your ‘victory laps’.

    You’re still doing it. You won’t even answer whether or not you are still defending Steele.

    I’m neither defending him or attacking him. That is your narrative.

    You posted above a statement that Steele is the victim of a “smear campaign”. I want to know if you still think that’s true even after the extent of his lying to the FBI and and pronouncement of unreliability–as exposed by Director Wray–has been fully brought to your attention.

    Sure there is a partisan attempt to completely discredit Steele, based on his actions well after he collected all the raw intelligence and passed it on. There is no evidence that the actual information is tainted. In fact we know a lot has been corroborated. Possibly much more than we know has been corroborated.

  28. There is no evidence that the actual information is tainted.

    Yes, there is. There’s the lack of corroboration (remember that Comey had called it “salacious and unverified” after it had been used for a FISA application). There’s Steele’s own personal motives, there’s the fact that the opposing presidential campaign was paying for the information. There’s also that they were using a media report that Steele himself had leaked to support the FISA warrant and they kept using it even when they knew that he had done it.

    I don’t think you know what “tainted evidence” means.

    Should the FBI have informed the FISC that they had identified Steele as an unreliable source when they filed an extension of the FISA warrant against Page?

  29. Like Porter’s wives?
    I can do random too. It’s fun!

    Needs to be noted that I did appreciate this. A timely and clever jape should never go unremarked on RVS.

  30. (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 was paying for the information

    There’s sworn testimony (that you acknowledged) that Steele didn’t know who was ultimately paying someone else. He was presumably just still getting paid as a contractor to Fusion GPS, just as he had been when The Washington Free Beacon kicked the whole thing off.

    Should the FBI have informed the FISC that they had identified Steele as an unreliable source when they filed an extension of the FISA warrant against Page?

    I don’t know enough to know how relevant it was, or the timing. I’d be interested to see the response (from those who know) to the claim that the initial FISA application here relied so heavily and simply on Steele’s raw intelligence. We know that since 2014 the FBI had been monitoring Page’s communications under a FISA warrant relating to Page’s 2013 contacts with Russians operatives. Presumably that would have played a part.

    Seems unlikely that the whole Woods Procedure would have been bypassed, and a Judge would have signed off. Repeatedly. Also, apparently 2016 was a year in which the court denied many more applications than it had in past years.

    The memo does at least succeed in making Steele look bad. No question. He used his knowledge of the national security apparatus to do things that he shouldn’t have done.

  31. 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.

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

  33. The memo has twisted his words.

    That just isn’t true.

    What were his motives when he was collecting the actual intelligence (you know, the stuff that actually matters, the whole point

    He was getting paid and he wanted Trump to lose. Neither of those facts are in doubt.

    Also, he was collecting and passing on raw intelligence. It’s up to others to verify and corroborate.

    Which was not done. See the excerpt again. They based their faith in it on Steele’s previous work.

    There’s sworn testimony (that you acknowledged) that Steele didn’t know who was ultimately paying someone else.

    Both the House and Senate memos indicate that Comey, et al knew this and did not inform the court. Wray unredacted it and doesn’t appear to have challenged it. The presumption now should be that Steele did know.

    He was presumably just still getting paid as a contractor to Fusion GPS, just as he had been when The Washington Free Beacon kicked the whole thing off.

    You keep writing things that are not true. Steele was not involved when the WFB hired Fusion GPS, nor did any of the research they dug up on Trump or the GOP candidates end up in the dossier.

    I’d be interested to see the response (from those who know) to the claim that the initial FISA application here relied so heavily and simply on Steele’s raw intelligence.

    The fact they were using the dossier at all should be taken as an indication that their evidence was weak.

    We know that since 2014 the FBI had been monitoring Page’s communications under a FISA warrant relating to Page’s 2013 contacts with Russians operatives.

    I’ve held off on spreading the rumor that Page was working as a confidential informant during that period because it’s gossip. But there are those who say it. In any event, if you have that kind of evidence that the FBI had developed, why do you need the dossier with its Yahoo news stories to get a FISA warrant?

    As I said, they shouldn’t have needed it at all.

    Seems unlikely that the whole Woods Procedure would have been bypassed, and a Judge would have signed off.

    It may seem unlikely, but it is what happened. Again, they relied on the strength of Steele’s credibility and kept using the dossier even after they had to cut him loose. They didn’t alert the court that they had done this either.

    The memo does at least succeed in making Steele look bad.

    You know what else makes him look bad? The FBI for burning his ass over his misconduct that may yet land him in prison. But sure, the memo made the FBI pronounce him an unreliable source. Run with that.

  34. Can’t be long until Steele is implicated in some kiddy porn ring

    *performs a ctrl + f search of both memos for “cheese pizza”*

    Ahhhhhhhh, no. Damn.

  35. 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 ‘getting paid’ aspect is relevant. Can you direct me to the evidence that he wanted Trump to lose at the time he was collected the raw intelligence? (Notwithstanding that his raw intelligence may have corroborated what the FBI already knew, or was corroborated later).

    Which was not done. See the excerpt again. They based their faith in it on Steele’s previous work.

    I’ll have a look at the actual transcript. Was that his full answer? He might not even be correct.
    How would something so flimsy possibly survive the Woods Procedure and questions from the Judge?

    Both the House and Senate memos indicate that Comey, et al knew this and did not inform the court. Wray unredacted it and doesn’t appear to have challenged it. The presumption now should be that Steele did know.

    Why would that now be the presumption? Just because Comey knew at some stage, why does it follow that Steele would know while he was actually collected the inteligence? Does he usually know who is the ultimate funder, or does he just do the job he’s paid to do by Fusion?
    Much of this seems to be assumption taken as fact.

    You keep writing things that are not true. Steele was not involved when the WFB hired Fusion GPS, nor did any of the research they dug up on Trump or the GOP candidates end up in the dossier.

    Ok, but the point is the same. Where is the evidence that he knew who was paying?

    The fact they were using the dossier at all should be taken as an indication that their evidence was weak.

    Not if the parts they put forward were separately corroborated. The FBI had been up on Page for years. It wouldn’t actually make sense for them to ignore what they knew outside the dossier and rely pretty much entirely on it. All indications are that only robust evidence makes it through the Woods Procedure, and the judges don’t suffer fools (and when the original FISA warrant was granted other applications were not). But I’m speculating, just as you are. I’m totally upfront about that.

    As I said, they shouldn’t have needed it at all.

    We just don’t know. We certainly can’t verify this for ourselves.

    It may seem unlikely, but it is what happened.

    Possibly, according to the current round of political theatre.

    Again, they relied on the strength of Steele’s credibility

    You’re basing that solely on paraphrased testimony. I wouldn’t take it as fact.

    and kept using the dossier even after they had to cut him loose. They didn’t alert the court that they had done this either.

    I am not sure how important this is. I know you think it’s very important. I’m not yet sure why, it doesn’t as relevant as you’re making out.

    But sure, the memo made the FBI pronounce him an unreliable source. Run with that.

    It certainly made a lot more people aware by bringing it to much greater attention (was my point).

  36. This assessment details the times when he used the phrase.

    The Grassley Memo says that Comey staked the dossier on Steele’s own credibility in a briefing in March 2017. Politifact is citing testimony from June. I’ll remind you again that the Grassley Memo was personally approved by the current FBI Director and that Politifact is cherry-picking information to try to undermine what Congress is saying.

    How would something so flimsy possibly survive the Woods Procedure and questions from the Judge?

    That is the very question the Nunes Memo should be leading us all to act. Here’s a blast from the past for you.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/23/us/secret-court-says-fbi-aides-misled-judges-in-75-cases.html

    It’s about FISA abuse from all the way back in 2002. They haven’t fixed the problems, perhaps.

    Just because Comey knew at some stage, why does it follow that Steele would know while he was actually collected the inteligence?

    I’m saying that Steele knew and that it follows that Comey did. That matters because it means that the FBI willfully chose not to disclose who ultimately paid for the dossier, not that they didn’t know. That’s what we’ve been arguing about. Maybe this has gotten muddled with all of the comments across two threads.

    But I’m speculating, just as you are. I’m totally upfront about that.

    I’m relying on published government documents released officially by named elected representatives as reviewed and approved by executive branch officials. I don’t need to speculate.

    You’re basing that solely on paraphrased testimony. I wouldn’t take it as fact.

    Wray did.

    I know you think it’s very important. I’m not yet sure why, it doesn’t as relevant as you’re making out.

    “Your Honor, we want to extend that FISA warrant on Carter Page.”

    “Okay. Has any information changed?”

    “Weeeeeeellll. Remember when we used a Yahoo news story to bolster the case that Page was cutting deals with Russians in exchange for sanctions relief in our application? As it turns out, Mr. Steele had leaked that to a journalist.”

    “You mean that you told the court information that Steele had given you and then you also cited a news story he had planted to make it look more credible?”

    “Umm, yes.”

    “You let your confidential informants talk to the press and share intelligence on active investigations?”

    “No, he wasn’t supposed to do that. We aren’t using him anymore.”

    “Good. I mean, did you tell him not to do that?”

    “Yes.”

    “What did he say when you asked him about the Yahoo story?”

    “He…didn’t tell the truth.”

    “Oh, has he been charged with lying to you? He’s not supposed to do that either.”

    “We’ll get around to it. Anyway, can you approve the warrant?”

    “I don’t think I can accept the Yahoo story, I mean, obviously, it’s circular intelligence. It would be like if I told all of your neighbors that you eat puppies and then reported you to the police with written statements from all of your neighbors swearing that they heard you eat puppies. What else do you have?”

    (Shuffles papers) “Ummm, it looks like Trump peed on some prostitutes in Moscow.”

    “What the what now?”

    All that, of course, did NOT happen. The FBI kept using the news article and didn’t admit that a source they jettisoned had improperly leaked it. I’m not sure why you think it doesn’t matter that much.

  37. No Democrat Memo at this time. I’m disappointed.

    https://gabfiles.blob.core.windows.net/image/5a7e444aa5b10.jpeg

    Unless, of course, Schiff would like to cut out the portions that the DOJ and DNI asked be cut out. A couple of weeks ago, I was assured that releasing a memo with classified information in it would be the worst thing ever, so I’m sure he’ll happily do that.

    Accusations of obstruction in 3…2…1…

    https://twitter.com/tedlieu/status/962131180505112581

    Right on cue and on script.

  38. I hate to necro a post that’s been buried, but 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.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/adam-schiff-no-revisions-will-be-made-to-democratic-memo/article/2649029

    “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 is 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 even 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 Sciff can do that matters to Democrats is use the Democrat memo to justify the overall Russia investigation and ignore Nunes 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 mistatatements 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.

  39. Good post, sounds about right.

    Thanks. I wasn’t kidding when I said I was going to fix the tone on my posts!

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