This is Part 2 of an analysis of the Nunes memo. You can read Part I here.
In the previous article, we mentioned that relevant information was missing in the request for a warrant for Carter Page. The FISC ommissions were not the work of a single agent or even single request. FISA requests must be renewed every ninety days, signed by both the FBI and the DOJ. Then FBI Director James Comey signed three of these requests, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. On the DOJ side, Sally Yates, Dana Boente and Rod Rosenstein each signed a request.
Was this shoddy work on behalf of the DOJ or the FBI? Nunes says no. In fact, the memo describes definite conflicts of interest. Before Steele was terminated as a source, his primary contact was Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, who worked closely with both Yates and Rosenstein. At one point, Steele told Ohr he was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being President.” This was logged by Ohr and was in his records.
But Ohr himself had a massive conflict of interest. His wife was employed by GPS/Fusion, paid by the Clinton Campaign. Ohr’s relationship with Steele and his wife’s relationship with GPS/Fusion were also not included in the FISA warrant request.
So the FISA warrant requests were NOT inadvertently incomplete. The information was left out purposely.
The timelines laid out in the Nunes memo are very clear. All of this information was available to the FBI and DOJ, but none of it made its way onto the FISA warrant request to be considered by the Court.
Think about this for a moment. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provides for surveillance warrants to deal with sensitive investigations involving national security. Since all activities are classified, it has exceedingly limited oversight, and since the Constitutional rights of Americans are at stake, the court must demand the highest integrity of law enforcement. Hiding key details in a FISA warrant request is essentially falsifying it. In this case, the integrity of law enforcement was crippled by biased actors in both the FBI and DOJ.
The memo notes that the investigation of George Papadopoulos, another Trump associate, was begun by Pete Strzok based on a mention in the Page FISA warrant request. It is not clear why Papadopoulos was named in that request, since there is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy with Page.
Strzok, of course, is the subject of a current investigation. His recently released text messages not only revealed a strong bias against Donald Trump, but also allusions to an “insurance policy” against Donald Trump’s election, and the orchestration of leaks to the media.
Bottom line: without that bias, and without the fabricated dossier, the “Russia collusion” investigation would never have started.
My own conclusion is the same as it was 18 months ago. The accusation of collusion with Russia was a Hillary Clinton Campaign operation designed to distract from Hillary’s compromised email server. What was not known then was the extent of the collusion and bias in the FBI and DOJ – bias that resulted in a national circus investigating a crime that never existed.
NBC has (exclusively?) obtained the Democratic response memo, which you can read here. It is not signed and there is no sourcing. At one point it says “Nothing in the Nunes memo rules out the possibility that considerable evidence beyond the Steele dossier helped the court reach that conclusion.” But the Nunes memo cites “Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.”
The rest of the Democratic response is similarly a collection of gratuitous denials and excuses. It hurts the Democrats more than it helps them.
If the biased media can muster any objectivity at all, the Russia probe is over.